Schemes announced to improve sports in Kerala

The Kerala Olympic Association aims to improve the quality of sports and games in Kerala to help its athletes excel in the international arena.

A district-level cross-country race for men, women, and children being held in Palakkad in December, 2019. KOA’s ‘sports for all’ scheme is aimed at broad-basing sport and its various disciplines at the district and State level.   -  MUSTAFAH K. K.

The Kerala Olympic Association (KOA) on Saturday announced a slew of projects aimed at improving the quality of sports and games in the State to help its athletes excel in the international arena.

Justice M. R. Hariharan Nair, the KOA high power committee chairman, president V. Sunil Kumar, and secretary S. Rajiv announced at a press conference here that the schemes will be implemented early next year with the help of sponsors, individuals and donations from corporate houses, under the scheme of corporate social responsibility.

Of the six projects announced, the 'Smart' scheme appears to be the key proposal. The KOA, through the scheme, is hopeful of adopting six athletes each in five disciplines and provide them with training and other facilities through the next decade. The athletes to be selected will be in the age group of 10 to 17 years and the disciplines identified are archery, athletics, boxing, swimming and shooting.

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The selected athletes will be based in one centre and the KOA will make sure that their education remains unhindered. Besides board and lodging, specialised training, and kits and equipments, the KOA will provide a decent sum for the athletes monthly to meet their out-of-pocket expenses. Foreign coaches will be deployed wherever necessary.

The other schemes drawn out also include ones to popularise disciplines such as billiards, bowling, triathlon, and squash, strengthening the functioning of the district sports associations and district teams in the various disciplines and another which provides financial support to needy retired sportspersons. Also on the anvil is another project - 'sports for all' - aimed at broad-basing sport and its various disciplines at the district and State level.

Mary Kom to be honoured

The KOA will honour all athletes who won medals for India at the Tokyo Olympics, held earlier this year, at a function here either in the last week of November or early December. The KOA has decided to honour boxing legend, Mary Kom, with its Life Time Achievement Award 2020; this award will be also presented to the former world champion at the same function in which the Chief Minister is expected to participate.

Further, the KOA will be holding the State Olympic Games, having competitions in 26 disciplines, here in February 2022. The Games are to be held through ten days. Prior to the Games, the district games will be held over seven days to identify athletes for the State event.

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