During the Sportstar Kerala Sports Conclave, V. Abdurahiman, Kerala Sports Minister, stressed the need to build the sports infrastructure in Kerala. With no participant from Kerala in the Tokyo Olympics, he said he would introduce a new sports policy to encourage more participation.
The Sports Minister also talked about the introduction of Sports Kerala Limited (SKL), a PSU targeted exclusively for sports. This, he hopes, will change the way sports infrastructure is utilised. It will also present opportunities for people looking to build a career in this field. Sports Kerala Limited will make sure that stadiums are taken full advantage of. They also have plans to collaborate with sports associations to host district-wise and state-wise tournaments.
P.T. Usha, a prominent personality in Kerala’s sports field, talked about her concern regarding Kerala’s lack of developing skills among children at a young age. Similarly, former Indian football captain I.M. Vijayan said that while there are many talented footballers in the state, there aren’t any opportunities for them to grow. From the conversation with K.C. Lekha, Ambika Radhika, Mayookha Johny, and more, it is clear that there is under-utilisation of talent. More than that, there isn’t a culture in Kerala that encourages or supports budding sports enthusiasts. There is little or no exposure in the rural areas. Kerala also lacks access to sports science experts to handle post-injury recovery and rehab.
Elizabeth Susan Koshy, an Indian shooter from Kerala, shared, “We have a world-class range but there are a lot of formalities when one wants to use it. We should also make the academy affordable since shooting is already an expensive sport. We need to have more centres too.”
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured that his team is looking into making drastic changes in the sports field, and that “it’s just the beginning” of something great. He further added, “With proper training and facilities, outstanding athletes will emerge from here.”