State honours sportspersons, coaches in glittering function
It was an occasion for sportspersons, who won laurels for Karnataka, to bask in their moment of glory as they were conferred with the prestigious Ekalavya and Lifetime Achievement awards on Wednesday.
In all 19 athletes were honoured with Ekalavya while four coaches received the Lifetime awarda. Among the Ekalavya awardees, four received the award for their performance in 2010.
The Ekalavya award winners took home Rs 2 lakh each while the Lifetime achievement awardees got Rs 1.5 lakh each. “I congratulate all the awards winners who brought laurels to the State and the country,” said Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar during the function at the Vidhana Soudha.
“We need to establish a system in the state to impart international level coaching to the athletes. We are planning to draft a youth policy and it will be implemented soon,” Shettar added.
The function was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister R Ashoka, Youth Services and Sports Minister MP Appachu Ranjan, DYSS Director MK Baladevakrishna and Karnataka Olympic Association President K Govindraj. “The government has plans to implement a sports policy in future,” Ranjan said.
Among the awardees, cricketer R Vinay Kumar took away most of the attention. “I dedicate this award to my parents, coaches and all my well wishers,” said Vinay.
Lifetime achievement award winner, National swimming coach and head coach of Basavangudi Aquatic Centre, Pradeep Kumar termed the award as the most memorable one.
Pradeep was understandably elated that his ward Gagan AP, who competed in London Olympics, was also among the awardees. “It is a memorable occasion for me.
This award is a recognition of 25 years of my hard work. We are already looking at bringing a medal from the next Asian Games (Incheon 2014),” pointed out Pradeep, whose coach Joy Joseph travelled from Neyveli in Tamil Nadu to attend the function.
Mamtha Poojari, who was the member of the Indian kabaddi team that won the gold in the Asian Games in Guangzhou 2010, said: “If you perform well, the awards will follow. I feel very proud to be among the awardees,” said Mamtha.
List of awardees: Ekalavya awards 2011: Kashinath Naik (athletics), Kruthika Lakshman (basketball), Stany GA (chess), R Vinay Kumar (cricket), AB Cheeyanna (hockey), Mamtha Poojari (kabaddi), Neha H (powerlifting), Rakesh Manpat (rifle shooting), Prateek Raja (skating), Gagan AP (swimming), HS Chandra Showri Devi (weightlifting), Nadia Haridas (equestrian), Sabhu Ishwar Ganigar (cycling), Swetha N (volleyball), CV Rajanna (specially abled, athletics/ badminton). Ekalavya awards 2010: Rajesh Shinde (specially abled, swimming), Roshan Ferrao (bodybuilding), S Naveen (karate), Pragna HA (roller skating).
Lifetime Achievement awards: CU Ashwath (hockey), Pradeep Kumar (swimming), CM Kurni (cycling), Shyamala Shetty (weightlifting).