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Biddanda Cup hockey matches likely in April

By Our Staff Correspondent

MADIKERI, FEB. 2. Efforts are on to hold the Biddanda Cup-2005 Kodava Hockey Festival in Madikeri in April by the Biddanda family, festival president, Kumar Mandanna, said here on Wednesday. This will be the ninth Kodava family hockey festival since its inception in 1997.

Madikeri has been chosen as the venue since the remains of two of the illustrious ancestors of the Biddanda family, Karyakar Biddanda Bopaiah and Karyakar Biddanda Somaiah, are interred at the Gaddige, close to the mausoleums of the former rulers of Kodagu here.

The organisers hope to provide a host of facilities to the players, referees, and spectators. The family is in touch with hoteliers and transporters to provide a package for stay, and transport to the match venues, Mr. Mandanna said.

A committee has been formed to select former players from Kodagu who have done well at the international level to felicitate them during the festival. Because of funds crunch, the organisers have decided to fix an entry fee of Rs. 750 for each team. Registration can be made till February 28 at two venues in Virajpet and one each in Madikeri, Kanur, Gonicoppa, Murnad and Ammathi. Lt. Gen. B.C. Nanda (retd.), who is the chairman of the Biddanda Hockey Festival, said the logo of the festival was a Kodava warrior. It has been taken from the Coorg medals conferred on the people of Kodagu by the British to honour acts of valour in 1839. All warriors in Kodagu, irrespective of caste, wore such attire during those days, Gen. Nanda said. The logo symbolises manliness, athleticism and bravery. Selectors from the MEG and other organisations will be witnessing the matches to spot talent. Two grounds have been prepared at the Field Marshal K.M.Cariappa College for the matches, Major B.A.Nanjappa (retd.) said. Over 250 Kodava family teams are expected to participate in the competition and the approximate cost for the conduct of the tournament is estimated at Rs. 15 lakhs.

Biddanda family members, who were entrusted with various tasks, Vinu Achaiah, Madaiah, Madhu Chengappa, Subbaiah, Achappa, Ram Bopaiah, Aiyappa, and Vasu Mandanna were present.

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