Event to bring together traditional regattas

The waterways dotting regions around Paravur regularly witness spirited boat races. But an ebbing of interest is apparent lately thanks to lack of organisational support for many races.

The Sports and Arts Club (SAC) of Gothuruth, the force that fosters art forms like Chavittunadakam, games such as football and badminton and organises the century-old Gothuruth Boat Race (GBR) on a tributary of Periyar, has now come forward to coordinate what will be a league of seven boat races periodically conducted at seven places around Paravur.

“The boat race league, being organised for the first time, will bring together traditional races held at Paravur Thattukadavu, Paravur Market, Vadakkumpuram, Thiruthipuram and Thiruthoor besides the Gothuruth Boat Race, the biggest of them all; and the Muziris Boat Race,” says O.K. Sidhan, general convener of the over 80-year-old Sports and Arts Club of Gothuruth island. Each of these races witnesses participation by scores of teams from neighbouring areas. The league being initiated now will have the winners getting richer by Rs.1 lakh, says Mr. Sidhan.

As always, the 101st edition of the Gothuruth Boat Race will take place on September 21, as is wont. At the moment, the islanders are in the grip of football, with some 54 teenagers attending a coaching camp on the island’s renovated stadium. “While football is the flavour of the season with the world cup progressing in Brazil, we also held a month-long shuttle badminton coaching camp, which was also well-subscribed,” he says.

The SAC has its hands full with a host of activities taking place, but the year is going to be even more eventful with a string of Chavittunadakam performances lined up in conjunction with the second edition of the Kochi Muziris Biennale slated to begin later this year. “Chavittunadakam received a shot in the arm two years ago thanks to our association with the maiden edition of the biennale. We are sure this year will not be different,” says Mr. Sidhan.

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