THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday said that the Tennis Complex at Kumarapuram here which has been constructed as part of the 35th National Games will be named after Indian tennis legend Ramanathan Krishnan.
Chandy was speaking after inaugurating the Tennis Complex, housing three practice courts and a main court constructed at a cost of around Rs 2.7 crore, in the presence of the first Wimbledon boys’ champion from India himself.
“We have many tennis courts in the state that have been owned by various clubs, but the tennis complex here will be the first such facility to be owned by the government and will be made available to the public after the Games,” the Chief Minister said.
“Preparations for the National Games are in the final phase and there is no cause of concern regarding the event,” added Chandy.
Ramanathan Krishnan, who was present on the occasion, said that he had fond memories of Kerala and Thiruvananthapuram in particular having being born at Nagercoil. “I was thrilled on hearing that the venue will be named after me during the Games, but my thrill has doubled after seeing the facility,” he said, adding that it was a unique honour to have the stadium named after him permanently.
Krishnan reminisced that he began his career way back in the 1950s in the city playing his first ranking tournament here. “The city gave me the luck to progress that far in my career,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said that Kerala has a rich tradition when it comes to tennis. “Trivandrum Tennis Club is one of the oldest tennis clubs in the country,” he said.
“But now, it is the responsibility of the government and each of us to make sure that a new generation of athletes grow up to make us proud,” Thiruvanchoor said.
CEO of the National Games Secretariat (NGS) Jacob Punnoose requested the State Government to institute an informal body to manage the tennis complex after the National Games.
“By this time next month, the NGS will cease to exist. So, it is important to have an informal body in place before the formal body set up by the government to manage the facility ceases to exist,” Punnoose said.