KOA urges govt to improve facilities

KOA urges govt to improve facilities

The Karnataka Olympic Association has urged Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda to improve the accommodation facilities for sportspersons in Bangalore while requesting him to look into the financial needs of the sportspersons in the coming budget.

“One of the biggest problems we face in the conduct of competitions is the lack of accommodation facilities to participants. If athletes, most of whom are travelling long distances, do not get proper lodging facilities, a lot of their money, which could be used for training, goes to waste. There is adequate scope for providing large, furnished accommodation at the Sree Kanteerava stadium and the Akkithimmanahalli (hockey) stadium,” KOA president K Govindraj said in a letter to the chief minister.

“Organisers, who are to make use of accommodation facilities, will be required to pay charges fixed by the Department of Youth Services and Sports to meet the expenses for maintenance. This will save athletes a lot of trouble,” Govindraj added.

With the State budget set to be presented on March 9, the KOA made several other requests as well, including allocation of Rs 2 crore to conduct the Karnataka State Olympic Games, which could not be held in 2011 due to natural calamities, besides funds for special training programmes for outstanding athletes.

The KOA have been in discussions with the government for a while for the introduction of a sports cess and the body has reiterated the demand ahead of this year’s budget. Govindraj, who met with Gowda later in the evening, said the cess should be on top of the priority list.
Cash awards to athletes who won medals at the 34th National Games in Ranchi in 2011, construction of a velodrome near Hoskote or Mysore and upgradation of the Kensington Swimming pool were among the other requests made by the KOA.