THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The boxing trainees under the Kerala Sports Council’s hostel at Statue will have a surprise gift waiting for them when they return after the examination break. The boxing ring which had been on paper for long will be inaugurated soon.
The task, which had been lying unattended owing to bureaucratic glitches, gathered pace after City Express reported on the issue in November last. The shocking lethargy on the part of the officials in the Sports Council had drawn severe flak from various quarters. The boxing mat, which costs around Rs 3 lakh, had been bundled in a corner of a platform adjacent to the ground and the basketball court.
The platform was built a couple of years ago as a podium when a top political leader visited the State capital. After the programme was over, the podium was ‘skilfully’ converted into a makeshift boxing ring.
Besides, the punching kits being used were almost in rags and the young pugilists had to use gloves which were torn apart. When the news story published in City Express revealed the real state of affairs prevailing in the Sports Council, its office-bearers were forced to act. It is also learnt that the Sports Council secretary himself intervened in the matter and made the necessary arrangements to construct the ring.
The intervention did not cease there. Almost 30 pairs of new gloves and six punching bags were released by the Council. Jawahar Sreekrishnan, the senior boxing coach at the Council, was upbeat about the new facility. He expressed the hope that the students would benefit a lot from the newly constructed ring. ”The ring would help the players to gain true fighting experience. Earlier, the students had won medals by practising on the rough floor. Now they have to perform even better,” he said.
Sports Council president Padmini Thomas said that the new ring would be inaugurated soon. ”The Minister will pay a visit to the facility soon. The date hasn’t been fixed. But we hope he will be here this week itself,” she said.