Wait prolongs for medallists

Talking to reporters after releasing the list of Karnataka Olympic Association awards for the year, KOA president K Govindraj on Wednesday said the process is underway but it’s hard to put a time frame on anything related to the government.

“We have sent the government a letter regarding cash incentives for winners at the National Games, and they have it on their mind. We can’t expect things to happen quickly when the government is involved. They have a lot of other things on their mind,” said Govindraj. “We will be speaking to the chief minister about a lot of things in a meeting that he said will happen some time soon, and one of the things to be discussed in the meeting will be this.”

Asked about what else is on the agenda at the meeting, Govindraj said: “Apart from cash incentives for the National Games, we are going to talk about the State Olympic Games, and more importantly, a State sports policy. Once we bring about this policy a lot of issues will be sorted about.”

“The draft has already been made, and it has in it a lot of important things. We have also looked into the issue of athletes switching states. In order to stop that from happening we have some clauses that will help the State retain its athletes,” Govindraj said.

“We cannot do anything about it (athletes from Karnataka representing other states). The respective associations should not issue an NOC (No Objection Certificate). If they do that, the athletes are bound to the State. We cannot keep a tab on which athlete is from where. Again, once this policy is passed, things will get better.”

Meanwhile, KOA awards, into its tenth year, will honour 13 active athletes, six veterans and three members from the media at the Raj Bhavan on November 18. The awardees, picked by a five-member panel, will receive Rs 20,000, a citation, a memento and a ceremonial dress during the ceremony.

Indian hockey player Bharat Chetri and swimmer Aaron D’Souza figure prominently in the list of awardees. Deccan Herald and Prajavani’s Srikanta Sharma R will receive the Best Photographer award.

It was also announced that the KOA will extend financial assitance to the tune of Rs 25,000 for affiliated associations to conduct National championships.

KOA awardees

* Active athletes: MR Poovamma (athletics), Mohit Kamat (badminton), Sagarika Shyam (basketball), Laxman C Kurani (cycling), Bharat Chetri (hockey), Kutuja A Multani (judo), Anith KR (kho kho), Vinod Gowda (lawn tennis), Rakesh Manpat (shooting), Aaron D’Souza (swimming), Rekha Devi P (taekwondo), Sanoj VR (volleyball), Ramya MR (wrestling).
* Veterans: SD Eashan (athletics), R Rajan (basketball), D Natraj (football), Sandeep Somesh (hockey), C Honappa Gowda (kabaddi), Mallappa (wrestling).
* Media: Mahesh Joshi (best reporter), Srikanta Sharma R (best photographer), Shankar Prakash (best sports commentator).

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