Kodagu’s Hockey Olympian S K Uthappa (24) Gets Ekalavya Award
Pics Chammatira Praveen Uthappa
Bengaluru: Olympian hockey star from Kodagu, Sannuvanda Kushalappa Uthappa, hailing from Devarapura near Gonikoppa, was presented the annual Ekalavya award by chief minister Siddaramaiah here on Tuesday. Another prominent young achiever to receive the award was junior India table-tennis player Archana Kamath.
Ekalavya awards are given to sportspersons for their outstanding achievements in the field. Each award carries Rs 2 lakh in cash and a memento. Four received Lifetime Achievement Awards, each of which carried Rs 1.5 lakh in cash and a memento. Karnataka Kreeda Ratna awards were given to ten sportspersons, each of which received Rs 1 lakh in cash and a memento.
Minister of youth empowerment and sports K Abhayachandra was present at the ceremony.
Robin Uthappa had bagged the award in 2010, but it was in the cricket category.
About S K Uthappa
(from different sources)
Uthappa picked up the sport as a profession at the age of 8 after growing up watching his brother play hockey for Bangalore University.
To his credit, Uthappa still holds the state record for scoring the highest number of goals (16) in 5 matches that he played for Coorg (Kodagu) team at the age of 11 in the state-level competition.
He also guided the Coorg team to victory against the mighty Bengaluru team, thereby ending the latter’s 4-year winning streak.
Uthappa was also a national-level basketball player during which time he represented Karnataka team in the 49th National Basketball Championships held at Chennai in 2004.
During his school days he also represented Coorg in events like badminton and football at the State Level competitions.
Uthappa made his international debut against South Africa on January 16, 2012 during the first match of the Karbonn Cup Hockey five-match test series. He scored a goal in his debut match at the 53rd minute mark.
In that series, he featured in 4 matches, winning three, drew one and scored 3 goals in the process. He was also given a special award from Hockey India for scoring in his debut match.
Based on his performances against South Africa, Uthappa was selected to play in the 2012 Olympic Qualification Tournament. He went on to play in all 6 matches (5 group and 1 Finals) in the tournament scoring one goal in the first match against Singapore.