Sports Minister K.B. Ganesh Kumar has urged the physical education teachers in the State to adopt a proactive attitude in identifying sporting talents.

He was inaugurating on the state-level programme, ‘Swim N Survive’, intended to equip school students with life-saving skills in swimming. The programme is being implemented by the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs in cooperation with Rashtriya Life Saving Society (RLSS).

Mr. Kumar lamented that physical education teachers in many schools have been passive in ensuring the all-round physical development of students. “It is unfortunate to note that majority of these teachers have not ventured beyond assuming roles of mere shepherds who escort their students at playgrounds and neglect them thereafter while resting beneath the shade. By doing so, they turn a blind eye towards ensuring that their students are exposed to adequate sufficient exercise that is paramount for the development of one’s personality,” he said.

The Minister also announced that the Sports Department would establish swimming pools in every district in an attempt to foster an interest towards water sports as well as physical development.

As many as 18 world-class tennis courts will be constructed in various parts of the State during the current year. The Cabinet approval in this regard has been obtained, he said. He also said that a football field with synthetic turf will be constructed at Panampilly Nagar with assistance from the FIFA.

He added that a centre for water sports will soon be established at Kodimatha near here. In addition, an amount of Rs. 6 crore has been sanctioned for constructing an indoor stadium at Kottayam. The stadium will also house a swimming pool that will be established with an amount of Rs. 1 crore.

Delivering his presidential address, Revenue Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan pointed out that the education system in schools must incorporate several extra-curricular activities including swimming as they assume great importance in the formative stages of an individual.

S. Najumudeen, Additional Director, Sports and Youth Affairs, welcomed the gathering. Rear Admiral P.D. Sharma, President, RLSS; Thresiamma George, District panchayat member; V.K. Anil Kumar, Aneesha Thankappan, Kottayam Municipal councilors; Aymanam Babu, president, District Sports Council; Reji Abraham, principal, M.D. Seminary Higher Secondary School; K. Philip Varughese, headmaster; and Sam Varghese, P.T.A. president, participated in the function.

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