From 60 teams in 1997 to 360 today: all about the Kodava family hockey festival

Watch | All about the Kodava family hockey festival

Imagine, around 300 Kodava families gathering every year in Kodagu, Karnataka, for a month-long celebration of hockey, tradition, and sportsmanship.

This is the Kodava Hockey Festival, the heart of Kodava community’s heritage.

Hockey isn’t just a game for Kodavas; it’s about unity. This year, one of the Kodava families, the Kundyolanda, is hosting this grand sporting carnival. Kundyolanda is one of the smallest families to host this tournament, now in its 24th edition.

The festival was the brainchild of Pandanda Kuttappa, a retired banker, who wanted to give back to the Kodava community. He observed that there was a lot of disharmony among Kodava families so he saw sport as a way of bringing people together.

Hence, the hockey tournament was born, with just 60 teams in the first edition in 1997. Now, it has 360 teams. We look at what draws people to this festival year after year, what motivates the younger generation to take part, what the organisers are looking to do to make the festival bigger and better, and more.

Special thanks to: Kodava Hockey Academy, Ajjettira Vikram Uthappa, Kundyolanda Family

Reporting: Darshan Devaiah BP

Video: Ravichandran N.

Production: Ravichandran N, Nalme Nachiyar

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