KOZHIKODE: The state government will initiate steps to construct new sports grounds and renovate the existing ones by spending `1,050 crore, Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan has said. He was speaking after launching the Sports Promotion and Education Empowerment (SPEED) project of the Kozhikode district panchayat, at Mananchira here on Friday.
“After the completion of the National Games in February 2015, the government will take steps to construct new grounds and renovate the existing ones. For this purpose a new system will be put in place,” he said.
The minister further said that after the conduct of the National Games, steps would be taken to foster one lakh athletes in the state. “As part of implementing the project, the government will consider sending athletes to foreign coaching centres and also invite foreign coaches to Kerala,” he added.
SPEED was introduced with an aim to improve the comprehensive training and physical fitness of students. A unit will consist of a physical education teacher and 40 students. As many as 20 games units formed in 11 government schools, 9 aided schools and 10 selected academies will get support under the SPEED project. A kabadi mat, the first in Malabar region, was also inaugurated by the minister on the occasion.
The district panchayat officials said that nearly `70 lakh was spent on training programmes and equipment during the last three years. To renovate the grounds in schools, `54 lakh had been earmarked for this year under SPEED.
Fitness centres had been started in schools under the district panchayat with a fund of around `22 lakh, the officials added. A Pradeepkumar MLA presided over the meet. District panchayat president Kanathil Jameela, District panchayat vice-president R Sasi and others were also present at the function.