State govt hands out cash awards to athletes

Upper ceiling of Rs 1 lakh leaves bad taste in mouth

State govt hands out cash awards to athletes

The Karnataka State government gave away cash awards and race cycles to meritorious sportspersons who brought laurels to the State during the three year period between 2009 and 2011. 

State Sports Minister K Abhay Chandra Jain, who distributed the awards here at the Yavanika State Youth Centre on Monday, blamed the previous government for the backlog.

Most of the top athletes could not collect the cheques in person as the awards ceremony was made official only on Monday morning, with the government seemingly eager to beat the election announcement.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. There were awards for sportspersons in all major sporting disciplines except hockey as the officials could not decide whether to award each player individually or to give a consolidated sum to the team.

A total of 147 athletes were given cash awards with ten of them receiving ‘special cash awards’. 

Cash awards totalled Rs 1.16 crores but many athletes were left disappointed because of the way in which the prize money was doled out. 

The athletes who won gold at the national level were eligible to receive Rs 1 lakh, silver Rs 50,000 and bronze Rs 25,000. But an upper ceiling of Rs 1 lakh was set per year irrespective of the number of medals an athlete would have won. 

This meant that a person who won just one gold in the National championship received the same amount as someone who bagged five gold medals in that year. 

There was also a cash award of Rs 50,000 for all sportspersons who took part in international events. 

Two kinds of racing cycles were handed out. While 11 cyclists received Carbon Monococque Frame (worth Rs 155,338) bikes, 15 took home Aluminium Frame (worth Rs 72,162) cycles. 

Some of the high profile winners at the ceremony were women’s quartermiler MR Poovamma (Rs 6 lakh), kabaddi player Mamatha Poojari (Rs 5 lakh) and discus thrower Vikas Gowda (Rs 4 lakh). 

Vikash Kumar Vikash, Chairman of DYSS, said in the next function, they would look to award sportspersons for their efforts in 2012, 2013 and, if possible, even 2014.

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