Oly gold to fetch one crore

Oly gold to fetch one crore

Promising encouragement and better financial support in years to come, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah presented the Ekalavya awards to various sportspersons of the State for their outstanding contributions here on Thursday.
 
“It is an honour for Karnataka to have witnessed tremendous success in the international level from these athletes and the government looks forward to assisting the Sports Ministry constantly to keep the sporting standards high,” said Siddaramaiah at the Vidhana Soudha.

The chief minister also spoke about the importance of providing jobs to the achievers and promised cash awards for medal winners in the upcoming Rio Olympics.

“Though money is indeed useful, a sportsperson is served greatly by a job and the government is trying hard to provide these achievers with occupation. All the athletes participating in the Olympics must aim for a podium finish and the gold medal winners will receive Rs one crore from the government.”

On an evening that saw the Asian Games heroes honoured alongside Ekalavya and life-time achievement award winners, it was a special moment for the Kreeda Rathna recipients, as it was the first time the State had recognised popular performers of rural sports.

“It is a great feeling to win two awards but at the same time I want the government to meet the standards of Chandigarh and Haryana, who have presented a greater amount for their athletes,” said shooter Prakash Nanjappa, who took home eight lakhs for his bronze medal show at Incheon. The shooter also received the Ekalavya award.

“It is an important year for me, with my immediate goal being the National Championship to be held in Pune from Decemeber 12-24. And I am impressed with the government trying to offer jobs to achievers,” he said.

Barring discus thrower Vikas Gowda and the hockey trio of Nikkin Thimmaiah, SV Sunil and VR Raghunath, other stars who lit up the Asiad – Ashwini Ponnappa (8 lakhs), MR Poovamma (33 lakhs) — were present at the awards function.

“Cash awards were given earlier as well but I am happy that this year the amount has increased and it is a great boost for upcoming athletes who look to make it big in major events,”  said Poovamma.

Visually impaired athlete Shavaad Jedikere Mohd Ali, who clinched the men’s 800 metres bronze in the Incheon Para Asian Games thanked the government for its gesture. “Cash award helps in better preparation and I intend to utilise the money to train better,” said Ali.

“I feel happy to declare that the government has alloted Rs 1.5 lakhs to each taluk of the State to promote rural sports of the State,” said the Sports Minister Abhay Chandra Jain.

Special prizes

Commenting on the last-minute removal of kabaddi players Mamata Poojari and Tejaswini Bai from the list of Asian Games winners from the State eligible for cash prizes, the minister asserted that it was on the insistence of chief minister that the names were struck off and confirmed that the players will be given special prizes. The duo were left out, with the government saying that they no longer reprsented the State.

The minister said the government spent Rs 3.5 crore for this year’s award winners. Ekalavya awardees footballer Vishal Kumar R and BR Nikshep couldn’t make it due to prior commitments.

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