MUSCAT, SEPT 15 - Bellu Kuttappa, one of the founder members of the Team Coorg Muscat hockey team, is bidding adieu to the Sultanate after staying in the country for 35 years.
Oman Hockey Association (OHA) aptly honoured the veteran hockey manager as OHA Chairman Talib al Wahaibi termed him as “one of the early supporters of Oman hockey.”
“Bellu Kuttappa has contributed to the growth of hockey in Oman by forming Team Coorg Muscat and I wish him success in his retired life,” Talib told the Observer.
The OHA chief presented a memento to Kuttappa acknowledging his support to Oman hockey during a farewell function organised at the OHA headquarters on Monday.
Kuttappa thanked OHA and the hockey fraternity in the Sultanate for the great support during the past years. “It has been a tremendous journey after me and some of our veteran players from Coorg set up the team in 2007 with the help of SAS Naqvi, former coach of Oman national team.”
Team Coorg were very active participants in local tournaments namely Renaissance Day Cup, National Day Cup, Indian Independence Day Cup, Indian Republic Day Cup and Dyan Chand Day Cup, claiming title many times in the events that spread hockey among the community in Muscat.
The tournaments were supported by OHA and Indian Embassy and jointly organised by ‘Friends of Naqvi Group,’ and Team Coorg Muscat.
Hockey’s grand old man, Naqvi said, “Kuttappa is a great friend and great lover of hockey.”
“Team Coorg are losing a great jewel. Kuttappa’s contributions are worthwhile in organising the local tournaments marking the Oman and Indian national events. He always supports plans to hold tournaments for hockey,” Naqvi said.
Kuttappa said Team Coorg Muscat had made their mark in the Gulf tournaments also by emerging champions in the Gulf Cup hockey for seven times.
“The Gulf Cup hockey was started 10 years ago between the regional clubs and Team Coorg are champions for the last three times consecutively and overall we have won the title seven times,” the 60-year-old said.
On his opinion about Oman national hockey players, the veteran hockey manager said they hold lot of promise. “The present bunch of Omani players are really talented and can go further. The team under the current set up of OHA is full of young players with good skills.”
“I am sure these talented youngsters under the guidance of hockey great Tahir Zaman can reach further heights.”
“I feel Oman players will get better and better by participating in more tournaments,” the hockey veteran said in review of his close observation of the game in Oman.
Being spent 35 years in Oman, Kuttappa wishes to provide the glimpses of Coorg’s hockey tradition to some local players.
“My one ambition is to take some players from Oman to Coorg to show them the flavour of hockey in Coorg and its way of life and nature. Coorg has got hockey in its blood,” Kuttappa signed off.