Napoklu (Kodagu): The 22nd Kulletira Hockey Festival, a popular event of Kodava families, was inaugurated yesterday at General K.S. Thimayya Stadium here.
Speaking as the chief guest, Additional Advocate General A.S. Ponnanna expressed apprehension over the gradual decrease in Kodava population in Kodagu district and other places. He appreciated Kodava families coming together and organising the hockey festival every year.
Inaugurating the festival, former Olympian and Hockey Academy CEO M.P. Ganesh hailed Kodagu district for providing over 25 hockey players to the nation in the past but regretted that not a single Kodava was a member of the Indian Hockey team now.
Kodagu Hockey Organisation Vice-President K. Nanaiah, Kulletira Hockey Festival Chairman Shambu Mandappa and Aruna Beba spoke on the occasion.
A book titled ‘Padebeera Kulleti Ponnanna’ written by I. Ramesh Uthappa was released by the dignitaries.
The invitees were welcomed with traditional Kodava volaga and thaliyathakki bolcha.
The first match between Kodagu International XI and India Olympian XI was inaugurated by K. Nanaiah by pushing the ball with a hockey stick. India Olympian XI won the match with a score of 1-0. A short spell of rain played the spoil-sport.