Mysore/Mysuru: Following various Kodava Samajas and Kodava families submitting memorandums to MLAs and MLCs from the district to urge the State Government to earmark Rs. 5 crore in the State Budget for the annual Kodava Family Hockey Festival, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha has reiterated the demand and has written to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa urging him to allocate at least Rs. 5 crore in the ensuing budget.
The Kodava Hockey Festival is projected as a promotion of Kodava culture and tradition. The Government should earmark Rs. 5 crore in the budget, he urged. The rich hockey culture ingrained in Kodagu has culminated into producing an arsenal of players who have time and again represented India at global hockey tournaments and many of them had been a part of the Olympics, the MP noted.
In Kodagu, the sport runs in the veins of Kodavas and that is why they give a befitting tribute by organising the Kodava Hockey Festival every year. The Festival has been a true revelry of the sport that has been an expression of passion. It is a celebration of the Kodava families who come together, irrespective of their age, gender and profession to simply devote time to their core value of sportsmanship, he said.
The Kodava family hockey had even entered the world records and has been contributing to the sports arena of the country. More than 500 hockey players from this tiny district have played in the State, National and International tournaments and the festival is a platform for youngsters to display their talent and rise to State, National and International levels, the MP said.
More than 6,000 players take part during each Kodava family hockey tournament and Kodava families spend crores of rupees to host the month-long tournament. To promote the Kodava culture and tradition, the Government should earmark Rs. 5 crore for the tournament in the budget every year, he stated.
The festival was the brainchild of late Pandanda Kuttappa who started the tournament with just 60 teams. Now, more than 350 teams of different families participate in the tournament. This festival is recognised as one of the largest field hockey tournaments in the world that has entered the Limca Book of Records, Pratap Simha noted.
Each year, the tournament is organised by a different Kodava family (okka) and the name of the family is given as the name of the tournament. The opening and closing ceremonies are held with pomp and splendour. Many locals set up food and merchandise stalls around the venue to do brisk business because of the large crowds that gather to watch the matches, he said.
Kodava Samajas submit memorandum to CM
Several Kodava Samajas under the leadership of Bengaluru Kodava Samaja submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa to allocate Rs. 5 crore for Kodava Family Hockey Festival. The delegation was led by Kodagu District BJP Executive Member Thelappanda Shivakumar Nanaiah and Bengaluru Kodava Samaja President Mukkatira T. Nanaiah. The delegation also urged the CM to establish a Sports University in Kodagu.