Games mascot Ammu embarks on her journey - The New Indian Express

Games mascot Ammu embarks on her journey

Published: 01st October 2013 12:54 PM

Last Updated: 01st October 2013 12:54 PM

The colourful mascot of the 35th National Games, Ammu, the hornbill, started her tour of schools across the state, conveying the importance of sports to students with a visit to Sarvodaya Vidyalaya at Nalanchira here on Monday.

Excitement was in the air as Ammu, accompanied by her friends from the police theatre group, danced her way on to the stage for an enthusiastic welcome by the students of the school.

Instead of giving long, boring speeches, Ammu and co put on a play, ‘Kalikkunna Kuttikalkkayi Bharatham Kaathirikkunnu’ (India is waiting for children who play), for the students.

The play, with its tagline ‘Together in Sport’, tried to impress upon its young audience the equal importance of games and sports in life as studies and academics through the lives of two friends - the irrepressible, sporty Sunny and the studious Monu, who is only interested in his textbooks.

The 25-minute play, an idea conceived by former Director General of Police (DGP) Jacob Punnoose, will be staged in all the schools that Ammu will visit in the coming weeks, to promote the up-coming National Games. Directed by theatre artiste Anil Karette, the actors in the play included Chandra Kumar, Y Rajasekharan, B Prasad, J Santosh, Agesh Das and V Sudharman, all members of the Kerala Police. “Despite having the second largest population in the world, India performs very poorly at international sporting events and is often outstripped by much smaller nations,” said Minorities Welfare Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali, who flagged of Ammu’s school drama tour. “The redemption from this lies in students.”

Ammu and her police pals will now visit around 150 schools in the seven districts where the 29 venues for the National Games have been set up.

In the later phases, she will visit other schools. Authorities of any school wishing to host her may contact the National Games Secretariat.

Former DGP Jacob Punnoose, National Games Secretariat CEO and coordinator Anil Kumar and Sarvodaya principal Fr George Mathew Karoor were also present .

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