KSHA felicitates State athletes

Hockey players Dhananjay Mahadik (left), Arjun Halappa (centre) and Bharath Chhetri at a felicitation function organised by the KSHA on Friday. DH photo

In a rather late move, the KSHA decided to honour Uthappa for his exploits in India’s winning campaign in World T20 in 2007 in South Africa along with other Karnataka athletes -- hockey stars Arjun Halappa, Bharat Chhetri and Dhananjay Mahadik and Commonwealth Games women’s doubles gold medallist Ashwini Ponnappa -- who brought laurel to the country in the recently held Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China.

Besides returning the cash award to invest the money in developing the game of hockey in district areas, the Royal Challengers Bangalore star also announced that he would be contributing Rs 50,000 annually for hockey coaching in Karnataka.

KSHA secretary K Krishnamurthy explained the rationale behind felicitating only two non-hockey players. “During their playing days, we couldn’t honour Venu Uthappa (Robin’s father) and MA Ponnappa (father of Ashwini). So by recoginsing their children’s feat, we are sort of making it up for Venu and Ponnappa,” explained Krishnamurthy in his welcome address. Both Robin and Ashwini, however, couldn’t attend the function.

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