'Initiate debate on stagnation of sports disciplines":Vimal

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Bangalore, June 12(UNI) Former International Shuttler Vimal Kumar today urged the sports journalists to initiate a debate as to why most sports disciplines in the country are stagnating.

Speaking at the annual awards function of the Sports Writers' Association of Bangalore here he urged the sports scribes to go into the reasons for the decline of standards and bring together sportspersons and the administrators to find out ways and means as to how the trend could be reversed.

"The Media has a very big role to play in the upliftment of sports in the country. Unless they take up cudgels on our behalf, nothing can be achieved. I am not saying they are not doing it. But there is a need for them to probe further and establish the facts,'' he added.

Former International athlete Reeth Abraham, who was the Chief guest, also felt that "the Media has a very large and useful role to play. The best example is cricket. It is only the kind of coverage that the sport gets that has lifted up its profile. Without the massive Media support cricket could not be what it is. I am not grudging anything except to say that if they can do it for cricket, they can do it for other sports also,'' Reeth added.

You may say that they cover it because people want to read it. I don't agree with that argument. I am sure people are not asking you for all that kind of coverage they work according to the needs of their newspapers, but then I am trying to drive home the point that without Media support very little will be possible,''said Reeth.

Veteran journalists R Arvindam, Rajan Bala, P R Vishwanath and S Devnath were felicitated on the occassion in recognition of their immence contribution to sports journalism.

Bangalore Hi-Fliers, who lifted the PHL trophy this year were awarded 'Team of the Year' Award, while international Swimmer Rehan Poncha and former World Woman Billiards Champion Chitra Magimairaj bagged 'Best sportsman and Sportswomen' award.

Other Awardees included Juniors: Ajay Patil (Badminton). Pooja Alva (swimming). Special awards: Vinay Kumar (Cricket). Rohan Bopanna (tennis).

Contribution to Sports: PSB Naidu (Athletics), Chikchennaiah (Football), Ravindra Singh (Basketball), V Shankar (Cricket), R C Nagesh (Swimming).

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