Day to remember for many

KOA honours top achievers and Asiad medallists from the State

Day to remember for many

Praising their achievements and contributions, the Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala presented this year’s Karnataka Olympic Association (KOA) Awards to athletes of current and past generations at the Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday.

“All athletes and sportspersons must compete in true spirit and follow the ethics involved in sports. An honest sportsman is the pride of the nation,” said the Governor on an evening that also witnessed Asian Games medallists and veteran media personalities being honoured.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Sports Minister Abhaychandra Jain were the other dignitaries present at the function.

The KOA President K Govindraj thanked the Chief Minister for passing the order for the construction of Karnataka Olympic Bhavan. “It is indeed a matter of pride that Karnataka Olympic Bhavan will soon be a reality and athletes will be encouraged further with better facilities,” he said. The Bhavan is to come up in the Sree Kanteerava Stadium complex.

Govindraj also urged the government to enhance the prize money for athletes in the coming years and spoke of the need to organise State Olympic Games. “The State Olympic Games, which was organised every two years, since its inception has not been conducted from the past four years. I request the government to provide complete support in conducting the games as it provides excellent platform to athletes to showcase their talent,” he said.

Barring MR Poovamma, all the other Asiad heroes made it to the awards ceremony. The star cast included shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa, the hockey trio of VR Raghunath, SV Sunil and Nikkin Thimmaiah, kabaddi players Shri Rajguru and Sushmitha Pawar and shooter Prakash Nanjappa. They received a cash prize of Rs 50,000 along with mementos and citations. The current athletes took home Rs 50,000 and veterans were given Rs 10,000.  
“It is very motivating when the State supports athletes for their achievements and it will encourage upcoming sporting enthusiasts to perform better,” said Vikas, who received 15 lakhs from the Government and 2.5 lakhs from KOA, for his overall achievements.

“It is indeed a great honour and I am looking forward to give my best in the upcoming tournaments,” said Ashwini who clinched a bronze in the team event at the Asiad.

With the Champions Trophy starting next month, experienced hockey campaigner Raghunath said India will look to continue their recent good show. “We are coming from a good tour and we look to put up a great show. All the eight teams are tough and it will be important to start well,” he said.

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