Kodagu First a Celebration. Positive News, Facts & Achievements about Kodagu, Coorgs and the People of Kodagu – here at Home and Overseas
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    Kodava elders hope the festival of Kailpodh will encourage the community’s youth to enter international sporting events

    Image credit:  Shawn Sebastian and Tejaswi Dantuluri

    Image credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejaswi Dantuluri

    Deep in the sanctum of his 150-year-old ancestral home, Lokesh Achappa is surrounded by weapons. Dressed in a Kupya, the traditional Coorgi outfit of knee-length black overcoat, a gold and maroon sash with an ornate, carved silver dagger tucked in its folds, Achappa prays to an array of weapons: an antique double-barrel, a .22 mm rifle, traditional daggers and swords, all garlanded with flowers and smeared with sandalwood paste.

    Once the ritual is complete, he steps out of the house, and a series of thundering gun shots reverberate across the valley.

    Coorg, a district in Karnataka famous for its coffee, is home to the Kodavas, a martial hill tribe with a population of less than six lakh. Historically, the community has shared a deep connection with its weapons. Valiant guerrilla fighters and agriculturists, the Kodavas once defended territories with locally made bow-and-arrows. With the advent of firearms, guns became central to Kondava life. Weapons appear frequently in important social customs: births and deaths in the Kodava tribe are announced with gunfire, every newborn touches a bow and arrow, as initiation into the tribe. At the annual harvest festival of Puttari, one of the most important events on the Kodavas festival calendar, everyone in the valley opens fire.

    Weapons are also celebrated at Kailpodh, the annual Kodavas (or Coorgi) festival in the first week of September which marks the end of hardships for the agrarian community – once the paddy has been transplanted. During the festival, Kodavas clean and worship weapons to express their gratitude for the protection they have offered.

    “The period is a time for jubilation when distant families get together,” local resident Ashik Appanna explained.

    Image credit:  Shawn Sebastian and Tejaswi Dantuluri

    Image credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejaswi Dantuluri

    With the tightening of gun regulation laws, the ban on hunting, and due to large-scale migration of younger generation Coorgis, many have predicted that the Kodava weapon culture will disappear altogether. Elders of the Kodava community are hoping that festivals like Kailpodh will encourage young Kodavas to return to their traditional shooting skills.

    Gun Rights and Regulations
    In 1861, the British administrators granted Kodavas an exemption from the Arms Act, for their support to the East India Company in administrative and military affairs.

    “Gun ownership is a birthright for us,” said Appanna Bacharinanyanda, an 80-year-old retired lecturer who exhibits antique Kodava weapons and utensils in his front yard every Kailpodh.

    Bacharinanyanda says the Kodavas never “misuse” guns. He expresses a deep apprehension over the government’s attempts at over-regulating weapons: “These days authorities have started demanding bribes to grant us the exemption certificate, which is completely unacceptable.”

    With the Wildlife Protection Act of 1971, hunting has been prohibited in India. The legislation came as a big blow to the Kodavas, for whom hunting was an integral part of life and survival.

    Naveen Bidappa, a young Kodava lawyer, pointed to a photograph in his house of a man named Tiger Thimmaiah. In the picture, Thimmaiah stood next to a tiger he had killed and then tied to a tree.

    “He shot 12 tigers, hence the name,” smiled Bidappa.

    Since tigers posed the biggest menace for livestock, tiger hunters were once highly venerated figures in the Kodavas society.

    “Narimangala (tiger-marriage) was a big tradition in the olden days,” he said. “The tiger hunter was married to the tiger he killed, and villagers would offer them gifts and cash as a mark of respect.”

    Changing relevance of gun culture
    In early September, scores of Kodava youth assembled at a school ground at the Coorgi village of Chettali. Each carried a gun.

    Bidappa, a 70-year-old elder from the community, walked into the ground filled with curious onlookers, and shot a coconut hung several yards away to inaugurate the annual shooting competition that coincides with Kailpodh. He hit the bulls-eye with a single shot.

    “Shooting skills are in our blood,” he said, shrugging at the crowd’s deafening cheers.

    Over the last few years, shooting competitions that were once limited to households have turned into larger events, with an increasing number of shooting enthusiasts showing up from all over Coorg.

    “Our aim is to prepare and pass down shooting skills to the younger generation,” Bidappa said.

    Over the next five years, local shooting competition organisers plan to develop a shooting range in the village to groom young shooters, and train them for national shooting competitions.

    “Festivals such as Kailpodh have found a new meaning in changing circumstances,” he said.

    A Kodava shooting competition. Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    A Kodava shooting competition. Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Fifteen-year-old Lakshan Ayyappa is a widely recognised face at Kodavas shooting competitions. He is the great-grandson of Tiger Thimmaiah, but has also established himself as an ace shooter in his own right – he has won more local competition prizes than he can remember.

    “My target is to make it for 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he said. Ayyappa first learnt to shoot at the age of five. He was taught by his mother.

    “Whenever I see a new gun, I discuss it with my dad,” he said. “I know everything about its make, calibre, range, the cartridges used. I feel by the time we are born, we are already half trained.”

    Like in Punjab, it is usual for Kodava households to send a member of their family to join the military. Many attribute this to early affinity Kodava youngsters develop with weapons.

    Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Shooting is not a male sport in the Kodavas tribe. Kodava women traditionally kept guns to protect their families when the men left for hunting and battle. Everyone from septuagenarian grandmothers to 16-year-old girls participate in local shooting competitions.

    Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Shooting is not a male sport in the Kodavas tribe. Kodava women traditionally kept guns to protect their families when the men left for hunting and battle. Everyone from septuagenarian grandmothers to 16-year-old girls participate in local shooting competitions.

    Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Credit: Shawn Sebastian and Tejasvi Dantuluri

    Several modern-day sports like shooting and archery have been born of indigenous communities across the world. In India, the attempts at unearthing such indigenous talents have been poor.

    A few notable exceptions are people like Laxmirani Manji, from the Santhal tribe in Jharkhand who represented India in archery at the 2016 Rio Olymipcs, and Limba Ram of Ahari tribe in Rajasthan, an Arjuna awardee archer who represented India at three Olympics. If they are given enough support and attention, many modern-day Tiger Thimmaiahs might emerge from Coorg.

    We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

    source: http://www.scroll.in / Scroll.in / Home> Magazine> After the News / Point & Shoot

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    Looking ahead: Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy are looking to take it match by match as they chart their course in the big league in the doubles.

    Looking ahead: Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy are looking to take it match by match as they chart their course in the big league in the doubles.

    Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy, who will play for Bengaluru Blasters, look to the ongoing Premier Badminton League (though they feature only in the mixed doubles event as there is no women’s doubles) as a huge learning curve.

    Their first target will be to break into the elite group in women’s doubles after finishing runner-up in the recent Welsh International Challenge and picking up a bronze at the Irish Grand Prix.

    Ashwini says they will take it match by match as they chart their course in the big league.

    “PBL is a major platform with so many Olympians. Anyone can pick up a few new things to improve their game,” says Ashwini.

    “Personally, I am very keen to focus on fitness and be more consistent,” she said.

    “It is only a question of how quickly we understand each other in the next few tournaments. It will be a different experience for me compared to the partnership with the more experienced Jwala,” said the 27-year-old Ashwini.

    “It’s been only a month since we began training together and I am happy at the way Sikki has been responding, especially in mastering how to rotate in simulated match situations. We have a very good doubles coach (Tan Kim Her),” says Ashwini.

    “I always believe that everything happens for a reason. So also my split with Jwala, and it is time now to look ahead. I am confident Sikki and will be a formidable force in women’s doubles,” she said.

    On her part, Sikki, fresh from the Brazilian and Russian Grand Prix titles and finishing runner-up in the Scottish Grand Prix partnering Pranaav Chopra in mixed doubles, is excited about playing with Ashwini.

    “Unlike many seniors, she is a very sweet person always pushing me to be better. The best part is she tries to make me feel comfortable.

    “Breaking into the top-15 in mixed doubles in such a short span is a huge morale-booster. These are the kind of results which can change your perception and confidence level,” said Sikki, who shot into the limelight after losing to Saina Nehwal in the 2008 Pune Commonwealth Youth Games final.

    A serious knee injury, however, forced her to focus only on doubles.

    “I don’t want to talk big, but yes there was some pressure initially as I stepped into the shoes of the formidable Jwala. She is a fabulous player and, like me, a left-hander,” Sikki said.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sport> Premier Badminton League – Other Sports / by V.V. Subrahmanyam / Hyderabad – January 02nd, 2017

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    At No 28, Rohan Bopanna is the highest ranked Indian doubles player.


    Name: Rohan Bopanna

    Age: 36

    Country: India

    World Ranking (doubles): 28

    Record in Chennai Open: 2002: Round of 16 ( partnered Carlos Cuadrado); 2006: Finals ( with Prakash Amritraj); 2009: Round of 16 ( Flavio Cipolia); 2010: Quarterfinals ( Mahesh Bhupathi); 2011: Quarterfinals (Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi); 2012: Semifinals ( Bhupathi); 2013: Quarterfinals (Rajeev Ram); 2014: Quarterfinals ( Qureshi);

    Form Book:
    Rohan Bopanna began the year 2016 by reaching the final of Sydney International ATP 250 tournament with Florin Mergea and followed it up with another entry to the final at the Madrid Masters with the same partner. He reached the quarterfinal of Rio Olympics in the mixed doubles event with Sania Mirza and also has three semifinal appearance in ATP tour events including one in the Masters.

    At No 28, Rohan Bopanna is the highest ranked Indian doubles player. He will partner local lad Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan in the doubles in what will be his ninth appearance in the ATP tournament. The duo played the Chengdu Open in September and had reached the quarterfinals.

    source: http://www.sportstarlive.com / SportStar / Home> Chennai Open / December 31st, 2016

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    Indian Oil looked the better team in the initial stages, earning two quick penalty corners before Gurjinder took the lead off one. S.V. Sunil was in the thick of things by creating good moves.

    Kolkata :

    Indian Oil won their fifth All India Beighton Cup title by edging past Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) 5-3 in the final at the SAI training centre here on Tuesday.

    India defender Gurjinder Singh scored a first half brace with S.K. Uthappa with the veteran duo of captain Deepak Thakur and Prabhjot Singh also finding the net.

    Indian Oil led by three unanswered goals at halftime. Bharat Petroleum, led by Sukhwinder Singh, tried to stage a comeback in the early stages of the second half through Amir Khan and Varun Kumar who sounded the boards after a flurry of penalty corners. But Deepak and Prabhjyot sealed the deal by scoring two more goals with Harmanpreet Singh getting on the scoresheet for the runners-up with a late consolation goal.

    Indian Oil looked the better team in the initial stages, earning two quick penalty corners before Gurjinder took the lead off one. S.V. Sunil was in the thick of things by creating good moves. Prabhjyot made a solo run, almost doubling the lead, before Uthappa pulled the trigger to make it 2-0 from a V.R. Raghunath pass.

    Gurjinder doubled his tally from another penalty corner as Indian Oil made the most of their opportunities while Bharat Petroleum failed to do so. The eventual winners also saw their goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan on top of his game pulling off a string of good saves. After the breather, Amir scored a field goal to make it 3-1 with Varun finally converting a penalty corner for Bharat Petroleum.

    Deepak and Prabhjyot though dashed any hopes of a fightback by netting goals in quick succession. Harmanpreet finished off the goal glut with a consolation strike in the dying minutes of the match. “We wanted them to press the panic button first,” Deepak, who was part of all five Indian Oil wins in the oldest domestic tournament, told reporters later.

    “They were younger and faster than us. We had quite a few veterans in the side so we could not match up to their pace. We played the Asian style of hockey while they stuck to the European style which the national team also plays. I am happy as captain that we prevailed eventually,” he added.

    Indian Oil’s Kothajit Singh was adjudged the man of the tournament. “I take inspiration from Mary Kom (boxer),” the Manipuri said. “She and Sarita Devi (boxer) have inspired me a lot,” added the 24-year old India international.

    source: http://www.india.com / India.com / Home> Business / by Indo-Asian News Service / December 27th, 2016

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    Sprinter HM Jyothi and golfer S Chikkarangappa are in the list of 16 sportspersons who will receive the Karnataka Olympic Association (KOA) awards this year.

    Other notable winners include young table tennis star Archana Kamath, swimmer Damini K Gowda, top-ranked girls’ badminton player Shikha Gautam and Indian hockey team midfielder SK Uthappa.

    Press photographer G Mohan and sports promoter Vinaya Hegde will also receive the honour while in the veteran category, B J Kariappa will be the recipient, KOA President K Govindaraj told a press conference.

    Sharana Gouda Beleri (wrestling) will receive the award in the coach’s category.

    The awards will be presented on Monday by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in a ceremony to be held at Yavanika, State Youth Centre.

    The list of awardees:

    HM Jyothi (Athletics), Shikha Gautam (Badminton), HM Bhandavya (Basketball), Sandesh M Uppar (Cycling), Chikkarangappa (Golf), SK Uthappa (Hockey), Mallaprabha Jadhav (Judo), Usha Rani (Kabaddi), Mayur Bhanu (Shooting), Damini K Gowda (Swimming), Anitha R (Taekwondo), Archana Kamath (Table Tennis), Dhruthi Venugopal (Tennis), Vinayak Rokade (Volleyball), Naveen Chandra (Weightlifting), BJ Kariappa (Veteran hockey player), Sharana Gouda Beleri (Wrestling coach), G Mohan (Press photographer), Vinaya Hegde (Sports promoter).

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> Sports / Bengaluru – DHNS, December 25th, 2016

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    December 28th, 2016adminArts, Culture & Entertainment, Sports


    The Ponnampet Kodava Samaja organised Kodava Samskrithika Dina and ‘Puthari Kolmand Namme,’ at Ponnampet on Monday.

    The members, irrespective of age, participated actively in ‘Bolakat,’ ‘Ummathat,’ ‘Puthari Kolat,’ ‘Pareyakali,’ and ‘Valagathat’ cultural programmes. The event saw shooting coconuts, musical chair competitions for men and women, skit by T Shettigeri Schoolchildren and Puthari dance ballet by the students of Ponnampet Appacchakavi Vidyalaya.

    The winners in various competitions are as follows:

    Puthari Kolat (senior category): 
    1) Junior College, Srimangala, 2) Puthubhagavathi team, Birunani;

    Junior category:
    1) Roots School, T Shettigeri, 2) Appacchakavi Vidyalaya;

    Bolakat (senior category):
    1) Kaveri College, Gonikoppa, 2) Puthubhagavathi, Birunani;

    Junior category:
    1)Appacchakavi Vidyalaya, 2) Little Flower, Hudikeri);

    Pareyakali (senior category):
    1) Veera Kodava team. 2) Putthubhagavathi, Birunani;

    Junior category: 1) Appacchakavi Vidyalaya, 2) Roots School; Ummathat

    senior category:
    1) Badagarakeri Mahila Samaja, 2) Junior College, Srimangala;

    junior category:
    1) Appacchakavi Vidyalaya; Valagathat (men): 1) Kalakanda Thammaiah, 2) Manthranda Subramani;

    Valagathat (women):
    1) Kavitha, 2) Kaibulira Pavithra;

    Shooting at coconut:
    1) Cheppudira Kalappa, 2) Appatira Pradeep.

    source: http://www.deccanherald.com / Deccan Herald / Home> District / Madikeri – DHNS, December 27th, 2016

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    Mahindra is on the verge of converting Goa into the next off-roading destination, as they conclude the 2nd edition of the Thar Club Challenge on August 5-6, at Dona Paula, Goa. Alongside the Club Challenge, Mahindra Adventure also kicked off the 1st edition of the Thar Fest, which aimed at bringing together the off-roading and the 4×4 community at one place.

    Now what is the point of having a Thar and not making full use of its off-roading credibility? Mahindra had something similar in mind when they started with the Thar Club Challenge in 2015, which saw Bangalore Off-road Development Authority (B.O.D.A) take the glory. This year was no different, as 10 well-reputed off-road clubs battled it out to lift the coveted cup. However, the only thing that changed was the difficulty level and of course the winning team. Let’s talk about the five gruelling challenges first.

    Day 1 kicked off with the Thar Fest, which included the scrutiny of the vehicles. After the scrutiny, all the Thars rallied to the track venue. After reaching the site, the 10 teams were briefed about the tasks before them. With each team consisting of three vehicle entries in the Stock, Modified and Pro-Modified category, the Club Challenge was about to begin.

    Club Challenge 1

    The first challenge was called ‘Pass the Baton’ which was a night event. In this, the teams had to sync all three Thars to pull a bundle of logs tied together with chains through rutted trenches and slush-pit, uphill climb negotiating sharp corners.

    Now, as simple as this may sound, with the constant down-pour from the rain-gods, the muddy ground made sure that the participants had to really work their way to start the competition on a winning note. The Gerrari Off-roaders emerged victorious as the other teams were left tasting the mud behind.

    Club Challenge 2

    ‘Trench Trouble’ was the second obstacle which was highly technical in terms of team involvement in dismantling all four wheels and putting the vehicle on stands. Carrying the tyre to the top of the trench in four different direction with the second team collecting it and putting it back on the vehicle and recovering themselves from the trench. With a second win in their pocket, the Gerrari Off-Roaders took a commendable lead in the front. But there was more to come and the others had not given up as yet.

    Club Challenge 3

    Day 2 began with an event that was my personal favourite. Why you ask? Because the 3rd challenge involved Thars and a ball. Yes, You read it right. The third obstacle was Goalll!!!, where the competitors were put in a slushy field with a ball with the aim to play football with his Thar and score a goal using his vehicle tyres and bumpers in the minimum time. This time, it were the defending champs, B.O.D.A who got the most points.

    Club Challenge 4

    The fourth challenge was unique as well and called Trench Trouble 2. The teams had to negotiate cones and various other obstacles and collect flags en-route. The more the number of flags the more the points. Surely this technical stage was challenging and the experienced V5 Coorg Off-Roaders took top trumps.

    Club Challenge 5

    The last and most interesting obstacle was the ‘Bus Stop’. In this obstacle the teams had to work together with props like ladder and spare tyres to negotiate a laid vehicle carnage which including climbing over a bus, water tanker and other vehicle debris.

    Being the most difficult of all the obstacles, the teams showed unspoiled teamwork and devotion. There was a lot of screaming, pressure, fretting and energy, but it was only to win the title of the best off-roading club in the country.

    Although, the Gerrari Off-roaders took a flying start to the event, it were the V5 Off-Roaders from Coorg who won the title in the end.

    Although, the Gerrari Off-roaders took a flying start to the event, it were the V5 Off-Roaders from Coorg who won the title in the end.

    After a gruelling battle of over two days and 5 challenges, the defending champs B.O.D.A passed on the winning trophy to V5 Off-Roaders from Coorg, closely followed by Gerrari Off-Roaders from Chandigarh. The 2nd runner up title was won by Team Flywheel from Kerala, thus ending the Mahindra Thar Club Challenge on a high note.

    source: http://www.indiatoday.intoday.in / Auto Today / IndiaToday.in / Auto> From the Magazine / by Pratik Rakshit / New Delhi, December 08th, 2016

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    Rohan Bopanna   | Photo Credit: S. Thanthoni

    Rohan Bopanna | Photo Credit: S. Thanthoni

    Chennai :

    Rohan Bopanna and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan will lead the Indian challenge alongside Leander Paes and Brazil’s Andre Sa in the doubles category of the upcoming Aircel Chennai Open set to begin here on January 2.

    Paes and Sa are seeded third, and Bopanna and Jeevan, seventh.

    Bopanna and Jeevan reached the quarterfinals of the Chengdu Open in China early this year.

    Purav Raja and Divij Sharan have teamed up as the other Indian entry for the category.

    Jonathan Erlich (Israel) and Scott Lipsky (USA) is the top seeded pair.

    Player field (doubles) (read as names, team ranking):

    Jonathan Erlich (Isr) & Scott Lipsky (USA) (99); Guillermo Duran (Arg) & Andres Molteni (Arg) (111); Leander Paes (Ind) & Andre Sa (Bra) (112); Nicholas Monroe (USA) & Artem Sitak (NZ) (114); Wesley Koolhof (Ned) & Matwe Middelkoop (Ned) (117); Andre Begemann (Ger) & Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) (126); Rohan Bopanna (Ind) & Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (Ind) (128); Purav Raja (Ind) & Divij Sharan (Ind) (128); Steve Darcis (Bel) & Benoit Paire (Fra) (133); Johan Brunstrom (Swe) & Andreas Siljestrom (Swe) (136). — Sports Reporter

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> Sports> Tennis / by Sports Reporter / December 20th, 2016

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    The country’s fastest woman over a distance of 400 metres suffered a debilitating injury in 2012 but came back strongly and won the Arjuna Award in 2015.

    Image credit:  Twitter

    Image credit: Twitter

    “At Beijing I was just a reserve and at Rio I was a senior member of the team. In between, eight years have passed but nothing, absolutely nothing has changed,” says the 26-year old Machettira Raju Poovamma, an athlete not known to mince her words.

    The athlete, living in Mangalore for the last 25 years, has been India’s fastest woman over a quarter-mile or 400 metres for the last three years and was a part of the 4×400 metres relay team that finished 13th at Rio 2016.

    Scroll.in spoke to Poovamma on the sides of the GoSports Foundation’s annual awards function in Bengaluru. Poovamma, sponsored by the Foundation since 2015 was recognised as the ‘Most Consistent Performer’ for her contributions to Indian athletics over the years.

    “They lift you up, then bring you crashing down”

    Some readers may remember that Poovamma, who was a reserve for the women’s 4×400 metres relay team in Beijing was India’s youngest athlete at the Olympic Games in 2008.

    She was expected to be a shoo-in for the London 2012 team, but as Poovamma found out, things don’t always go to plan. A month before the trials for the Olympics were to be conducted, the sprinter suffered a horrendous injury which kept her out for almost 10 months and made her forego what was almost a guaranteed spot on the team for a second successive Olympics.

    As we sit in the well-lit lobby of the ITC Windsor, Poovamma sporting a blue blazer is almost choking as she forces the words out, “Those times were really dark. I want to erase those memories.”

    But as I found out, Poovamma’s problem is an age-old one and not something unfamiliar in the Indian sports scene. We identify the talent after they’ve set the sporting scene alight, not before, mind you, hype them up to atmospheric levels and then turn on them when their performance levels go down or missing. Clearly, standing with our athletes in troubled times is something we still have to learn.

    Undergoing weight training in the gym, Poovamma ruptured the L4-L5 vertebrae disc in her spine. The lumbar spine (or the lower back) consisting of the L1-L5 vertebrae helps in supporting the upper body and allowing motion in multiple directions. Degeneration of the L4-L5 disc can result in possible leg pain and/or severe back pain.

    During that time, Poovamma says that the same journos who praised her for her achievements in the span leading up to London turned on her. She says, “I read newspaper reports saying that I had gone missing, questioning why I was not performing at any meet. These people, the same ones that lifted me, had brought me crashing down.”

    Post this revelation, I ask Poovamma the only logical question that comes to my mind, “Didn’t anyone check with you?” to which her answer is a resounding no. “It was very difficult for me to even go to the washroom but no one bothered checking with me,” says Poovamma as her expression turns expectedly sombre.

    A happy ending

    Her injury is a recurring one, and she has had to go through rehabilitation therapy several times post recovery. She seems happier with the Bengaluru-based not-for-profit’s involvement, “When you undergo an injury like that, you want some help, some support. Their (the Foundation’s) backing has given me a moral boost,” lending further credence to the theory that private organisations like GoSports, Olympic Gold Quest, JSW Sports and Anglian Medal Quest are filling important gaps in India’s sporting infrastructure.

    A self-proclaimed fan of Jamaican sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, Poovamma says she took up the 400 metres “for fun.” Born to a contractor at the Mangalore airport and a homemaker, she says she took up the 100 and the 200 metres after which she tried her hand out at the 400 metres.

    Her mother, M R Jaji, is a lucky charm according to the sprinter. “Since 2005, I can’t recall a single domestic meet that she has missed. They (parents) are old but they do their utmost best to motivate me,” says Poovamma of her family’s involvement.

    As she goes up to collect her award, Poovamma doesn’t shy away when asked about her journey as she reiterates, “I’ve been around for eight years but the diet, the schedule, the way of training as prescribed by our sporting authorities, nothing has changed.”

    The Rio debacle is still on her mind as she recollects, “Prior to the Olympics, everyone was training individually with their personal coaches. We came together a week prior to the Games. In these events (relay), you need coordination, especially for the baton pass. A fraction of a second can make a difference.”

    The authorities, she insists, have done nothing to change the approach to athletics in India, “In the West, each athlete has his or her personal diet and training regime designed for them. Here, they spend their time in the run up to the Olympics predicting the number of medals. I can only be satisfied in the fact that I gave my best on the day.”

    And give her best, she did. After returning from injury in April 2013, Poovamma won the relay gold and silver in the individual 400 metres at the Asian Championships held at Pune, also notching up her personal best of 51.75 seconds at Lucknow the same year.

    Her finest moment came the following year at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea where India won the 4×400 m relay gold as she won the individual bronze. Poovamma is currently ranked second in the 400 m category in Asia as she sets her sights on the upcoming World Championships to be held in London in August 2017.

    But for Povamma, her greatest achievement is not that she has scaled the heights to reach the top of her sport in the country but the fact that she has seen the depths and has climbed back up again.

    We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.

    source: http://www.thefield.scroll.in / Scroll.in / Home> The Field> Sports news and scores> World Athletics / by Arka Bhattacharya / December 17th, 2016

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    December 18th, 2016adminSports, World Opinion


    Virajpet :

    Kodagu-based international rugby player Madanda Thimmaiah, who is the Director for Indian branch of UAB, an American Sports Institute, has been selected for the sports management training to be held Los Angeles and Arizona from Dec. 9-22.

    The special training programme will be held on precautions and arrangements to be done at the sporting venues. Thimmaiah has already left for the USA with 16 selected basketball players from our country.

    Thimmaiah, who has represented the country’s rugby team in Asian and Common Wealth Games, has been working as coach cum player of American Football. He is also the director of UAB Institute for professional basketball.

    He is the son of Advocate Madanda Poovaiah and Tunga Poovaiah, residents of Virajpet.

    source: http://www.starofmysore.com / Star of Mysore / Home> Sports News / December 12th, 2016

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