Napoklu all set for hockey fest

Olympian Subbaiah to inaugurate Biddatanda hockey namme today

The hockey festival being organised annually by Kodava families is looked forward to eagerly by hockey lovers in Kodagu.

The Biddatanda family takes the pride in organising the festival, the 21st in the series, this year and all members of the family, irrespective of age and gender, take part in the tournament. In fact, the Kodava family hockey tournament is the largest ever hockey tournament, at one stretch, in the world.

The Hockey Namme of Kodava families has its own history. It was the British who introduced hockey and coffee to Kodagu. They used to play hockey during free time. Soon, Kodavas took to the sport and made it their own. There are no households in the district that do not have a hockey stick, say hockey lovers.

The first edition of Kodava family hockey was organised by Pandanda Kuttappa and his brother Kashi in 1997, with 60 Kodava family teams participating. This year, a record 306 teams are participating.

General Thimayya Stadium at Cheriyaparambu in Napoklu is all set for the tournament. The matches will be held in three grounds at a time, with 24 matches a day.

Hockey Olympian Anjaparavanda Subbaiah will inaugurate the tournament on Monday. There will be an exhibition match between Rest of India (RoI) and the Karnataka hockey team.

Rest of India: V R Raghnath (captain), Jagadeep Dayal, Nirmal Chinnappa, Vikramkanth, V S Vinay, A B Cheyyanna, K S Appanna, K P Somaiah, G N Prithviraj, P Somanna, P L Thimmanna, M Nithin Thimmaiah, K M Neelesh, K M Somanna, P R Ayyappa, M G Poonaccha, P Muthanna and B K Cariappa.

Karnataka: J P Kusha (captain), Sharath Somanna (goalkeeper), K T Cariappa, Sonu Ponnanna, K K Bharath, H S Abhishek, Siraj, M S Bopanna, Rathan Muthanna, B B Machaiah, K T Kunjappa, Abharan, Rohil, Honnuruswamy and Sheshe Gowda.

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