Dawn whistle revives football legacy on Vypeen beach, combats youth's screen addiction

Vypeen was once the home of Garrinchaz FC, a team which won many laurels in the sport.
A candid moment during a football game at Vypeen beach.
A candid moment during a football game at Vypeen beach. (Express| A Saneesh)

KOCHI: TweeeeEEEEt! Coach Vimal T R’s whistle rings loud on the Vypeen beach at dawn signalling the start of an hours-long football session. This has become a regular sight here and people can’t be any more pleased.

Though the island boasted a rich legacy in sports, recent years have seen games dwindle at an alarming rate. Disuse have seen many grounds here lost to nature or anti-social elements. Lack of play has also made many youngsters addicted to their mobile phones or worse, drugs.

Vimal’s mission is to get more people interested in sports. “Now, if you take 100 people in Vypeen, only about five are engaged in sports. I want to showcase the positive effects of engaging in play,” says Vimal, who has a C-level licence in football.

He is assisted by many who think alike, including World Blind Football referee Vivek T C, Valappu ward member Swathish Sathyan, and national football referee Manu P A. Together they have been able to herald a much-desired change on the island.

Vypeen was once the home of Garrinchaz FC, a team which won many laurels in the sport. Through this initiative, the group yearns to build an ecosystem on the island which can spawn more teams of similar repute.

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