THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Most of the sporting infrastructural facilities in the state are receiving a facelift ahead of the 35th National Games that Kerala will host early next year. However, the Government G V Raja Sports School at Mylom, Cheriyakonni, near here, an institution set up for the aspiring sports talents in the state, is in a state of neglect.
There are only seven coaches to handle the 380 plus students who are enrolled in classes 8 to 12, which means that the only athletic coach at the school has to handle a batch of around 100 students.
Students training in sports like cricket and football are fortunate enough as those in basketball do not have a coach of their own. There is a tug of war between the students and coaches for playing space in the single uneven piece of land called the training ground or athletic track depending on who treads on it.
“G V Raja Sports School has ceased to exist as a sports school. Even the promotion there is now based on academics which must not be the case,” said District Collector Biju Prabhakar, who in his capacity as the Director of Public Instruction at the General Education Department tried to spring changes in the school. The troubles seem to have emerged after the school was shifted to the desolate Mylom, 10 km away from the city, from their Shangumugham campus, that was taken over by the Indian Air Force in 2006.
“Shangumugham was ideal, while there is a negativity surrounding the school now,” said one of the coaches at the school who did not wish to be named.
A Pradeep Kumar, newly appointed head master of the school, said normal services are being restored this academic year. However, he expressed his worries regarding the school’s ideologies. “The school is aimed at producing sportspersons, but what we do these days is produce physical education teachers. This is mainly because children we nurture in 8th, 9th and 10th standards are transferred to other institutions in the single window system,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC), which wishes to take over the reigns of the school, said that it had done the maximum to help the school. “We have three of our coaches there in athletics, cricket and hockey and contributed a jumping pit as part of the ‘SMILE’ project. Former minister K B Ganesh Kumar had planned to bring the school under the Council, but the move did not take off,” said Padmini Thomas, KSSC president.