Karnataka is considered as one of the top states in the country for sports. With many eminent personalities such as Prakash Padukone (Badminton), RM Shankara (Carrom), Girish Koushik (Chess), Rahul Dravid (Cricket), Pankaj Advani (Snooker) and MP Ganesh (Hockey), Karnataka has definitely come a long way in the field of sports.
Youth Empowerment and Sports Department (YESD) in Karnataka
Set up in 1969 as the Directorate of Youth Services, the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports in Karnataka was established with an objective of channelizing the enthusiasm of the young towards nation building activities. In 1975, the department was reorganized by launching divisional and district level offices and in 1977, the department was again reorganized by adding officers at the block level.
In 1980, the merger of Karnataka State Sports Council and the Directorate of Youth Services gave birth to the Department of Youth Services and Sports. In 2013, it was again renamed as the Youth Empowerment and Sports Department.
To promote sports in the state, the department has implemented various State Sector Schemes in Karnataka:Youth Camps and Rallies
Various Youth Rallies are organized throughout the state for the youths, who can showcase their talent on cultural festivals and folk Arts.
Conduct of Training Programs
Many training programs such as Yuva Prerana, Yuva Samvahana and Yuva Chetana are conducted in the state to encourage the youth to take part in community development programs and acquire leadership and entrepreneurship qualities. State Youth Award
To give recognition of the services provided by the youth in community development and welfare, youth awards are given out every year. Youth Festival
The National Youth Festival, organized by the Indian Government, is held during the National Youth Week. This mega annual event is the perfect opportunity for youths to showcase their talents in different cultural events held during the festival.
State Youth Center
Located in Bengaluru, the State Youth Center is equipped with the best of facilities for fostering young talent including exciting activities to empower the youth with skills, attitude and knowledge. Sports Authority of Karnataka
This is the apex institution for organizing state, national and international level sports programs and games in the state.
General Thimmaiah National Academy of Adventure
This is the Grant-in-Aid institution for organizing various outdoor sports such as Trekking, Para Sailing, Rock Climbing, Kayaking, White Water Rafting, Orientation Training, Mountaineering Expeditions, Canoeing, Week-End Camps and so on. Girl Guides
The Grant-in-Aid institution dedicated to develop a sense of service among girl students at primary, middle and high school level by Guides movement.
Moreover, there are also many schemes that are being implemented by the Zilla Panchayat for promoting youth development and welfare in rural areas. Youth Welfare Programs for Youth Club Members, Organization of Meets and Rallies, Maintenance of Stadium, Construction of Rural Gymnasium, Construction of Taluk / Mandal level Stadium, Grants for Construction of Indoor Stadium, Grants for development of play fields, Grants for Construction of 'Khusti Akhada', Sports Training in Rural Areas and Implementation of PYKKA are the schemes that have been implemented in various rural areas of the state.
Popular Sports in Karnataka
Here are some of the popular sports played in the state of Karnataka:
Cricket in Karnataka
Cricket is probably the most popular sport played in the state. Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) is the governing body of the sport over here. Founded in 1933, the association is affiliated to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ever since.
Formerly known as the Mysore Cricket Association, KSCA is responsible for the development of the famous M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and now, also the newly built D.R. Bendre KSCA Stadium Rajnagar in Hubli.
The Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru is the only cricket stadium in the state that also hosts international cricket matches. It is also home to the National Cricket Academy, where they train youngsters who could play for the national team in the future. In 1990, most of the players in the Indian Team for One Day International and Test Matches were from Karnataka only.
Karnataka Cricket Team, the state team that represents Karnataka in domestic first class cricket, is considered as one of the best teams in the country. It is one of the strongest teams in Ranji Trophy and has also produced many eminent personalities for the national cricket team. They have won the Ranji Trophy seven times (1973-74, 1977-78, 1982-83, 1995-96, 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2013-14) and have come second place six times.
Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, B. S. Chandrasekhar, David Johnson, Gundappa Viswanath, Robin Uthappa, Stuart Binny, Sudhakar Rao, Sunil Joshi, Syed Kirmani, Vinay Kumar, Dodda Ganesh and Brijesh Patel are some of the popular cricket players from the state who have also represented the country in at least one international cricket match.
Hockey in Karnataka
Hockey is another popular sport played in the state. The Karnataka State Hockey Association was formed with an objective of encouraging, promoting and controlling the game of Hockey in the state. It is the apex institution for organizing various hockey events and programs throughout the state. The Association also indulges in the organizing various training camps to nurture young Hockey players.
Hockey Karnataka was formed under affiliation with Hockey India, the sole governing body of Hockey in the country. It was formed to boost the game at the grass root level and also train hockey players and give them the confidence to play at national and international levels.
Home to several hockey institutions, training grounds and campaigns, Karnataka, especially the Kodagu district, has produced many famous hockey players, who have even played on the international level. Hockey has a special place in the culture of Kodava and even has a special annual event – Kodava Hockey Festival dedicated to it, which has also been recognized as the largest hockey festival in the world by Guinness Book of World Records.
Karnataka has also produced several eminent hockey players such as the current Olympic Team captain Bharat Chetri, former Indian Hockey team captain Sommayya Maneypande, Ignace Tirkey, SV Sunil, Muniswamy Rajgopal, MP Ganesh, Jude Felix, Ashish Ballal, Ravi Naikar, Anil Aldrin, Arjun Halappa, BK Subramani and many more.
The state of Karnataka is also home to its very own hockey team – Karnataka Lions, which also participates in the World Hockey Series with captain as Arjun Halappa. Bangalore Hockey Stadium, also known as KSHA Hockey Stadium, is the home ground for the team.
Another popular local team from Bengaluru called Bangalore Lions or Bangalore Hi-Fliers in the state is one of the most successful teams in Premier Hockey League Series and has won the league twice in 2006 and 2008.
Football in Karnataka
Karnataka Football Team is the state football team representing Karnataka in the Santosh Trophy. They have participated in the trophy nine times, out of which they have won the trophy four times. The current (2013) captain of the team is Chethan Kumar BV. Bangalore Football Stadium is the home ground for the team.
Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA) is a part of the 36 football associations in the country, which is affiliated to All Indian Football Federation. Established in 1946, KSFA is the governing body for football in Karnataka.
Badminton in Karnataka
Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) is the governing body for the sport of Badminton in the state. Established in 1950 by a group of badminton enthusiasts, Karnataka Badminton Association is the only association in the entire continent of Asia to have ten badminton courts, out of which, five are synthetic and the rest are wooden.
Over the past few years, the association has made a lot of progress, including the Indoor Badminton Stadium with a clubhouse. Currently, the association has 1600 members. With a capacity of 3000 people, the stadium is equipped with all modern facilities including a gym, health club and other amenities for nurturing talent in the state. The Club House is also equipped with facilities such as swimming pool, billiards table, squash court, table tennis and bar and restaurant.
Karnataka is also home to one of the most prominent personalities in the field of Badminton – Prakash Padukone. His victories include All England Badminton Championships in 1980, Bronze Medal at World Championships in 1983, Danish Open, Swedish Open and Gold Medal at Commonwealth Games in 1978.
In 1962, under the leadership of Ramesh Padukone (father of esteemed Prakash Padukone), KBA conducted the 27th National and 18th Interstate Badminton championships. Then after 44 years, KBA again hosted the successful and memorable 70th Nationals and the 61st Interstate Badminton championships.
Currently, KBA is highly involved in promoting the sport of Badminton throughout the state. The Association puts special emphasis on fostering young talent in various districts of the state and also to give them confidence to play at the international level.
Furthermore, KBA has also merged with the District Badminton Association (DBA) to conduct regular coaching and training camps at various districts of Karnataka. This is done to identify the various boys and girls who are talented in this field. KBA then take them under its wings and supports them for badminton related activities.
Tennis in Karnataka
Tennis is another popular sport played in the state of Karnataka. Bangalore has also hosted the prominent Women’s Tennis Association event and Bangalore Open in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Many popular players such as Mahesh Bhupathi, winner of Gran Slam Doubles, have emerged from this state. He has also established a famous Tennis Academy in Bangalore with the help of Nike.
Cue Sports in Karnataka
Cue Sports are very popular in Karnataka especially Snooker and Billiards. Karnataka has produced some great personalities who have won many titles in cue sports. Pankaj Advani who has won three awards in cue sports including IBSF World Snooker Championship (2003) and IBSF World Billiards Championship (2005) at just the age of 20 is from the capital city of the state - Bengaluru
. Moreover, Karnataka is also home to the famous World Ladies Billiards Champion
(2012) – R. Umadevi.