ALAPPUZHA:“She had often complained to her parents about the mental torture by seniors and some trainers at SAI centre. It was because of the financial difficulties that many of them continued at the centre facing differential treatment on part of coaches,” said Lincy, a relative and neighbour of the deceased athlete Aparna.
Over the years the SAI Water Sports Centre has earned wide acclaim by grooming students in rowing, canoeing and kayaking. The students who were trained at the centre had won gold both in international and national events. Altogether, 27 girls and 40 boys in the age group of 14 to 20 are undergoing training at the residential centre.
In the 35th National Games, 20 girls from the centre participated and won medals in rowing, canoeing and kayaking competitions. One of the girls who attempted suicide is a National Games gold medalist in kayaking.
A former student and gold medalist said that the coaches at the SAI centre were very proactive and generous towards the students. “Many of us were coming from financially backward families. The coaches had helped us a lot to improve over performance and attain good positions in the water games. I didn’t face any kind of harassment during my seven year tenure at the centre,” the sports woman said.