'A proud moment' for awardees

HR Bhardwaj, the Governor of Karnataka, KOA president K Govindraj and the Minister for primary and secondary eductaion Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri -- standing in for the Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda -- honoured the 18 athletes, both former and current, along with three from the media and one sports promoter at the Rajbhavan. The award winners were given a cash prize of Rs 20,000 besides a citation and a trophy.

“I congratulate the people who have won the awards this year and also the people who have stood by them, their family, the coaches and their teachers,” Bhardwaj said.
“Karnataka has very good sports infrastructure, which is why the State has produced and continues to produce so many great sportspersons,” he added.

Kageri, speaking on behalf of the Chief Minister, said the Government was planning to increase the sports infrastructure and were keen to reach out to every part of the State.
“We plan to construct stadiums in all 25 districts in Karnataka as well as building synthetic tracks in Mysore, Mangalore and Shimoga.

“We have already spent Rs 15 crore on improving infrastructure in Sports School, Vidyanagar and Sports School Kudige,” he said.

National volleyball player VR Sanoj said it he felt great to receive the award. “It is a great honour for me and I feel really proud and happy to have won this award.”

Indian hockey captain Bharat Chetri and Aaron D’Souza, the most high profile awardees, could not make it to the event as Chetri is attending the National camp for the Champions Challenge and Aaron is taking part in the Senior National Aquatics Championships in Ranchi.

Other awardees who could not make it to the function were  athlete M R Poovamma, judoka Kutuja A Multani, shooter Rakesh Manpat and sports promoter K Mallappa.

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