Mangaluru: Two-day ‘Junior Olympics – 2016,’ organised by Kreeda Bharati for high school children up to the age of 17, was inaugurated by MP Nalin Kumar Kateel by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignatories at the Mangala Stadium here, on January 15.
A procession of Junior Olympic torch bearers, all the athletes and colorful marching bands was held from Mariamma temple to the Stadium. About 3750 children athletes and sportsmen from Mangaluru South, Mangaluru North, Puttur, Sullia, Bantwal, Beltangady and Moodbidri will participate in the meet. Contestants will participate in various athletic events and sports events like volleyball, handball, kabbaddi, swimming, wrestling and badminton. The Junior Olympic torch was handed over to Kateel.
As a part of inaugural ceremony three flags were hoisted. MP Nalin Kumar Kateel hoisted the Kreeda Bharati flag, MLA JR Lobo hoisted the DK Physical Director’s flag and DK Junior Olympics flag was hoisted by Regional Spokesperson of Kreeda Bharati, V Manjunath. Balloons and pigeons were also released and as a sign of prosperity, unfurling the arecanut inflorescence.
President of Kreeda Bharati, K Chandrashekar Rai welcomed the gathering. Kateel in his inaugural speech said, “Mangaluru has given many sportsmen and athletes to the nation and of course many sports meets are held here. But an Olympics for juniors has never been held so far. This event will serve as a launch pad for the children of this region to shine in the district, state, nation and finally help them to reach the International Olympics.” He congratulated Kreeda Bharati for organizing the event.
A Sadananda Shetty was felicitated for his years of service in the field of sports, along with Nalin Kumar Kateel and Deputy Director of Public Education Department, Walter H D’Mello.
Addressing the gathering J R Lobo said, “It won’t be wrong if I say that this event has made history today. It is very important that children make sports a part of their life along with academics. As Nalin Kumar Kateel said, this event will serve as a stepping stone for the children of today to look at participating in the Olympics tomorrow.”
MP Tejashwini Gowda, MLC Capt Ganesh Karnik, Shridhar Alva, Mohan Alva, Nagaraj Shetty, Y Abdul Kunhi and other dignitaries were also present on the dias.