Hectic preparations are underway for the Biddatanda Hockey Namme to be held at General K.S. Thimayya Sports Stadium in Napoklu, North Kodagu, from Apr. 17.
Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy Chairman B.S. Thammaiah and members of the Biddatanda family yesterday visited the stadium to inspect the preparations.
Later, speaking to mediapersons, Hockey Tournament Ground Manager Biddatanda Bellu Belliappa said that the Biddatanda family was hosting the family hockey tournament for the first time and added that all arrangements were being made for the smooth conduct of the much-awaited tournament.
The family has been preparing a new hockey ground at Napoklu at a cost of Rs. 15 lakh and the matches will be played at three different grounds in which teams from 260 Kodava families are expected to participate. Teams willing to participate can register till Apr. 12. The hockey tournament which begins on Apr. 17 is expected to end on May 7 or May 14.
The tournament will be inaugurated by Union Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda. District In-charge Minister M.R. Seetaram, MLAs K.G. Bopaiah and M.P. Appachu Ranjan, MLCs Sunil Subramani and Veena Achaiah and others will be present.
Belliappa added that the State Government had released Rs. 40 lakh while MP Pratap Simha had granted Rs. 20 lakh, MLC Veena Acchaiah Rs. 5 lakh and ZP member Murali Karumbaiah had released Rs. 2 lakh for the tournament.
The organisers are making arrangements for the galleries to accommodate more than 20,000 spectators to watch the matches. Indian Hockey stars and members of the Indian Army Hockey team are expected to visit Napoklu to witness the tournament. Events such as Ummathat, Bolakat, Kattiyat which depicts Kodava culture will be performed during the inaugural event. The tournament committee is spending around Rs. 1.60 crore for the Namme.