Staff Correspondent

Intra-community sports meets are becoming commonplace in Kodagu district

The Kodava family hockey tournament is awaited eagerly every summerMany communities have started organising sports meets of their ownThis has given them a sense of camaraderie and helped promote sports

MADIKERI: Despite many issues plaguing Kodagu, be it the proposal of the Delimitation Commission to decrease the number of Assembly constituencies in the district by one, or the seething anger against the State Government for not conferring tree rights on landholders, the district plays host to a series of sporting events in summer.

Perhaps, the heralding of the Kodava clan hockey festival in 1997 at Karada started it all in Kodagu. Ten editions of the Kodava hockey festival have gone by with the conclusion of the Kallichanda family Kodava hockey festival at Ponnampet recently. These hockey festivals have become the most eagerly awaited events in the district during summer. The hockey festival has succeeded in bringing Kodavas living in isolated pockets within or outside the district, on a common platform. It has also drawn good players who have gone on to represent reputed hockey teams. Also, each edition of the festival is accompanied by adventure activities and performances by army troupes.

The Kodagu Gowda Cup cricket tournaments organised by the Gowda families have also become popular among the community. The "Dambekodi Cup" and "Kedambadi Cup" cricket tournaments have attracted a large number of Kodagu Gowda teams.

Similarly, the "Ammunichanda Cup" cricket tournament for Kodava families is being organised in Virajpet currently.

The starting of the Kodagu Gowda football tournament comes as a new development. Though there are good football teams from Sunticoppa, Madikeri and other places, the tournament is yet to become popular. The "Panathale Cup" football tournament for the Gowda families is under way.

The annual sporting event of the Kodagu Heggade community concluded in Virajpet recently. This was the fifth year that the community has organised such an event in succession. The annual event has helped forge unity among members of the community.

Some days ago, the Muslim Cup cricket tournament was held at the district stadium here. It was open to Muslim clubs from all parts of the district. "Speed Boys" team won the cup. The Dalit Nagas Sports Academy is set to organise the fourth annual sports meet for members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes at Murnad in Madikeri taluk from May 15 to 20. The Billavas' Association has been organising sports events at the district stadium. The Golla community has also not lagged behind.

Communities prepare their calendar of events to showcase their interest in sports well in advance. This has helped them sink their differences by coming together. However, things could go wrong if it makes way for unhealthy competition among communities.