Mangaluru : The biggest sporting event in the history of Mangaluru will kick off in less than 24 hours from now- for the first time, the 19th Federation Cup National Senior Athletics Championships 2015 will be held in Mangaluru from 30th April till 4th May 2015. Everybody, right from the organizing committee members, athletes, event management crew, stage installers, field crew, sound and lighting crew and others are all gearing up for the big event which will kick off tomorrow evening, 30 April 2015. Main sporting events will start from 1 May till 4 May 2015.
The entire city is decked up with hoardings, banners, posters etc announcing about the sporting event, MCC laborers are busy cleaning the streets, “Namma Mangaluru, Swachha Mangaluru”, traffic police are planning about traffic diversion, parking spots etc; -everybody connected with this mega event are working hard to make sure that the event goes on smoothly and successfully. The Dakshina Kannada District Athletics Association (DKDAA) just converted the renovated erstwhile pavilion at Mangala Stadium, in to an activity center for athletes using the stadium. The renovated center will serve as the Anti-Dope Testing Center that National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) will set up and operate for the entire duration of the Federation Cup. Drug testing on the athletes will be done randomly, if needed.
According to Manjunath Bhandary, the president of DKDAA , the erstwhile pavilion which was in a state of disuse and used as a storage room for sports material, but now totally refurbished as part of the overall stadium refurbishment project taken up for the event, the renovated building apart from Anti-Dope Testing Center during the event, will be later used for the purpose of promoting athletics, where athletes can learn more about their sport. The pavilion, post Federation Cup will have a library, and plans are afoot to have an audio visual room where athletes can view videos and other study material related to their sports. The total cost for this renovated Dope-Center is around Rs 9 lakh.
Temporary floodlights are installed at a cost of Rs 22 lakhs- earlier there were plans to have floodlights installed permanently at the stadium, but the plan was dropped out due to huge cost factor. Warm-up ground for athletes near the stadium with estimated cost of Rs 20 lakh is on the finishing touches-the expenses fully borne by MCC. A new compound wall has already been built around this practicing ground. The synthetic track at the stadium has been rectified. A separate bore-well has been sunk and water from this bore-well free of chlorine will be used to sprinkle water on the synthetic. New sports materials worth around Rs 60 lakh to be used during the event have already arrived.
The four-day event would cost around Rs 1.50 crore, of which the state government has promised to pitch in Rs 1 crore. The remaining amount will be generated through donations from public sector undertakings, major private industrial units, public sector banks, deemed universities, builders, other private companies and so on. MCC will contribute Rs 20 lakh. About Rs 25 lakh will be spent on 300 rooms to accommodate the athletes, officials and guests in various city hotels- apart from rooms booked at city hotels, rooms at the newly built Circuit House and other govt. guest houses will also be made use of.
It is also learnt that around Rs 10 lakh will be spent on publicity, including slots on three FM music stations, and also on six TV channels. Around 900 athletes have registered so far, and nearly 200-300 officials/coaches will join them. Forty-five cultural troupes will perform during a kilometer long procession and 13 groups of performing artists will take part during the 4-day event. Troupes from Odisha, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka will take part in the cultural programs. A special contingent of 100 officials from the state will also be officiating in the event.
It is also learnt that the base kitchen will work in three shifts with 30 cooks in each shift, preparing the traditional Mangalorean non-veg and vegetarian cuisine for the athletes during the 4-day event. North and South Indian food will also be prepared and served to the athletes. Majority of the athletes have already arrived in the city, and have been put in various hotels and guest houses. The organizing committee has also arranged for extra KSRTC buses on various routes from Mangala Stadium. Every evening for 4 days there will be an hour long cultural program.
Sources also reveal that CM Siddaramaiah who was suppose to inaugurate the meet tomorrow will not be able to make it, since he has a meeting with PM Modi o 30 April, but the committee members are trying to bring him for the valedictory function or during the 4-day meet. Bollywood actor Sunil Shetty will grace the inauguration ceremony, along with many state ministers, district officials, VIPs and other dignitaries.
Sahana Kumari, the local athlete who holds the national record in high-jump will be the flag-bearer of the 34 member Karnataka team during the inaugural day parade. The Karnataka team will comprise of Meghana Shetty ( 100m, 100m hurdles), BG Nagaraj ( 100m sprint), Abhishek Shetty ( Decathlon), Vishwabara (800m), Harshith (High jump), Arpita (400m hurdles), and Shahi Jali (javelin).
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