Bangalore, Jun 12 (UNI) Former international shuttler Vimal Kumar today urged the sports journalists to initiate a debate on why most sports disciplines in the country are stagnating.
Speaking here at the annual awards function of the Sports Writers' Association Bangalore, he urged the sports scribes to take up the reasons for the decline of standard of sports and also to bring together sportspersons and the administrators to find out ways and means as to how the trend could be preserved.
''The media has a vital 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 said ''the media has a large 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 would not be what it is today. If the media can do it for cricket, they can do it for other sports also,'' he added.
''You may say that they cover it because people want to read it. I do not agree with that argument. I am sure people are not asking for that kind of coverage, they work according to the needs of their newspapers,'' said Reeth.
Veteran journalists R Arvindam, Rajan Bala, P R Vishwanath and S Devnath were felicitated on the occassion for their 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 awards, respectively.
Other awardees included - juniors: Ajay Patil (badminton), Pooja Alva (swimming), special awards: Vinay Kumar (cricket) and Rohan Bopanna (tennis).
Contribution to sports: P S B Naidu (athletics), Chikchennaiah (football), Ravindra Singh (basketball), V Shankar (cricket), R C Nagesh (swimming).
UNI MSP MV AB RAI1937