Mangaluru, Dec 21: To mark its silver jubilee, United Friends Bejai in collaboration with DK District Amateur Kabaddi Association organised an action-packed ‘United Friends Cup’ district-level floodlit kabaddi tournament at Sri Ramashrama PU College grounds, Yeyyadi here on Sunday December 20.
State minister for youth services, sports and fisheries Abhaychandra Jain inaugurated the tournament by lighting the lamp in the presence of other dignitaries.
Fr Robert D’Souza, principal of Lourdes Central School blessed the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Abhaychandra Jain said, “United Friends Bejai has organised a very good programme. After the commencement of Pro Kabbadi, this sport has got a lot of recognition. New techniques and rules have been implemented which have further boosted its popularity.
“In Pro Kabbadi mats are used so that players do not get hurt. By next year, the government will distribute kabbadi mats and thereby promote the sport. I have already sanctioned Rs 1 lac for this event from the government. We should encourage our youngsters to play this game and for that, such sports events should be organized. I congratulate the organizers and wish good luck to all the participants.”
Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo said, “This sport got prominence thanks to Pro Kabbadi. Now it has got recognition and is being played in Olympics also. This is because we viewers have supported it. We should encourage and support kabaddi so that more youngsters play this game and thereby raise nation’s pride internationally. I congratulate the organizers and all the sponsors on supporting and organizing such an event.”
Fr Ajith Menezes, assistant administrator director of Father Muller Institutions, said “Tthere was a time when many of our youngsters did not know kabbadi was our national sport. But now with the introduction of Pro Kabbadi, it has got prominence. By introducing new rules and regulations this sports has become still more interesting. I wish and congratulate all the participants and organizers on organizing such a nice event.”
Owner of Mangala Cashews Vedavyas Kamath said, “United Friends has been supporting sports by organizing various events. Winning or losing is part of the game. If you lose, take it as a challenge and do well next time. I congratulate United Friends Bejai on organizing this competition.”
Corporator Rajesh K said, “I congratulate the president and all the office-bearers of United Friends Bejai on hosting such a nice competition. Kabbadi is a sport which has come from the rural region and made name internationally. I congratulate the organizers and wish all the best to all the participants.”
Arun Rodrigues, president of United Friends Bejai welcomed the gathering. Stany Alvares compered the event.
More than 19 teams from different colleges across the district took part in the competition. Both men and women teams participated.
Corporator Lancelot Pinto, corporator Prakash B Salian, president of Mangaluru taluk Amateur Kabaddi Association Giridar Shetty, taluk panchayat member Johnson Lobo, secretaries of Amateur Kabaddi Association Rathan Kumar and Purushotham Poojary, MCC Bank chairman Francis Cuttinho and others were present.