The 34th State-level masters’ athletics meet was flagged off at Sir M. Visvesvaraya District Stadium here on Saturday. Over 700 participants aged between 35 and 80 from across the State are taking part in the two-day event.

The former Minister for Agriculture K. Srinivasa Gowda hoisted the sports flag. Zilla panchayat president Chowdeshwari R. inaugurated the meet.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gowda urged the government to support the masters’ athletics meet.

Additional Superintendent of Police H.R. Bhagavan Das, Deputy Superintendent of Police Srihari Baragur and district physical education officer Basavaraj Chilakanthmath were the chief guests.

Dhanamatnahalli Venkatesh, an organiser, criticised the Department of Youth Services and Sports for allegedly not cooperating with them to hold the event. After the meet, a protest will be staged at the stadium against the non-cooperation of the department officials, he added.

This statement embarrassed Assistant Director of the Department of Youth Services and Sports B. Rudrappa, who was present on the dais. He left the venue in a huff and returned after some time. To a query, Mr. Rudrappa said: “We have granted permission to use the stadium. What else can we do?”

Minister of State (Independent charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises K.H. Muniyappa and district in-charge Minister Varthur Prakash did not take part.

The unscheduled power cut led to some confusion during the inaugural function. As arrangements for generator or battery had not been made, the speeches of the guests were not audible to the gathering.

The absence of any of the office-bearers of the Masters’ Athletic Association of Karnataka was a pointer to lack of support from the State association to district body in organising the meet.

  • Department of Sports criticised for not lending support to organise the sports meet

  • ‘We have granted permission to use the stadium. What else can we do?’