THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Taking a cue from the migration of sportspersons to other states in search of greener pastures, the sports administrators have finally decided to wake up from their slumber. The cash awards for over 800 sportspersons which were lying pending for more than four years will be distributed on May 4 at a function to be presided by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
The current decision would benefit sportspersons who had won accolades in various national and international competitions during 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-2011 seasons. The decision was taken by the Sports Council and the Sports Directorate after Sports Minister K B Ganesh Kumar directed them to settle the issue, which has been lying pending for years.
For the purpose, an amount totaling Rs 2.5 crore was released to the Sports Department. The gold, silver and bronze medallists in the international events would get Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively, while the national medal winners would get Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 rupees respectively. The medal winners in the team events would also be awarded.
Speaking to Express, Ganesh Kumar said that the decision was the part of the Government’s decision to provide maximum assistance to sports and sportspersons. He said that the present amount was obtained after channellising the Plan Fund which was allotted for another purpose. ”We are hopeful that the decision will trigger a positive chain of actions in the coming days,” he said.
Sports Council secretary P S Abdul Razak felt that the cash prizes should be increased and distributed to the players in time. ”This would enhance their motivation to perform well. But the sad part is that we cant offer them suitable employment opportunities in the State. So, they are forced to migrate to other states,” he said.