KOZHIKODE: “Kerala is ready to be the venue of National School Athletics Meet if Maharashtra keep off from hosting the event,” Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb has said. He was delivering the presidential address at the opening ceremony of 59th State School Athletic Meet at Olympian Rehman Stadium here on Saturday. He said the Cabinet has entrusted the task of coordinating activities in this regard with the Chief Secretary.
The move came in the wake of Maharashtra’s decision to back out from hosting the meet after Union Sports Ministry stated that the school meet could not be conducted separately for boys and girls. The decision of Maharashtra government to conduct separate meets for boys and girls had snowballed into a controversy, with former athletes, including P T Usha and Anju Bobby George, coming out against it. The minister also stated that the 101 sovereign gold cup instituted for the champions of State School Athletic Meet from this year will be handed over soon after the event.
“The state government will provide `3 lakh each to the families of the three athletes who died in an accident while returning after participating in a meet at Calicut University Stadium. The family of the deceased driver of the vehicle, in which they travelled, will also be provided `3lakh. Besides, the government will bear the medical expenses of the three athletes admitted to hospital following the accident,” he said.
Sports Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan inaugurated the event.