It is 13th edition of Mandepanda Cup
Only members of Kodava families can take part in matches
‘Identify three venues in the three taluks to hold sports festivals’
AMMATHI (KODAGU DT.): The 13th edition of the Kodava hockey festival — Mandepanda Cup-2009 began here on Monday. Only members of Kodava families take part in the festival that heralds the annual season of sports festivals in Kodagu district.
The festival flag was unfurled by the president of the Mandepanda family, M.B. Appaiah and M.C. Nanaiah, MLC, in the presence of Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, K.G. Bopaiah, Madikeri MLA, Mandepanda P. Appachu Ranjan, and several guests.
Hockey national players from the Mandepanda family, Monnappa (Monni) and Prakash, and national basketball player, Pushpa Kuttanna, brought the ‘festival flame’, resembling the Olympic flame, into the grounds much to the cheer of the guests and spectators. Mr. Prakash lit the flame.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Mr. Bopaiah said Kodava hockey festivals were in continuation of the sports tradition of the district. Hockey festivals had helped identify and nurture rural talent in Kodagu since its inception.
For the first time, the State Government had chipped in with its contribution for encouraging the Kodava hockey festivals, he added.
Mr. Nanaiahcalled upon the Kodava Hockey Academy president, Kuttani, to identify three venues in each of the taluks in the district for organising Kodava family hockey festivals in the district in future.
Mr. Kuttani said the Kodava hockey festival was already in the Limca Book of Records for its sheer magnitude, and efforts were on to make an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, for it was reputed to be the largest hockey event in the world.
The festival had helped over 1,000 players from the Kodava families secure employment in the country. The events had brought together Kodava families and fostered matrimonial alliances among Kodava clans.
He later inaugurated an exhibition match between Coorg XI and the Sports Authority of India, Bangalore.
The president of the Mandepanda family, M.B. Appaiah, called upon the players to show exemplary discipline and respect the decisions of the umpires.
Mr. Appachu Ranjan thanked the main sponsors, Café Coffee Day, who had provided Rs. 10 lakh, the State Government and other donors.
He sought the cooperation of the Kodava families to ensure the smooth conduct of the festival.
The bagpiper band from the MEG put on a good show, apart from Kodava volaga.
Kodava cultural dances were displayed later.