Enthusiasm of budding athletes, who took part in the summer junior athletic meet here, peaked in the presence of former national sprint champion N. Rami Reddy.

The meet organised jointly by the Tiruchi District Athletic Association (TDAA), Southern Railway Sports Association and Rail Sports Club Athletic Academy (RSCAA) at the Railway Stadium in Kallukuzhi on Friday marked the end of the four-week summer athletics coaching camp for juniors.

Speaking at the valediction, Mr. Reddy advised the aspirants to put in a lot of hard work and stay focussed. “Never lose heart even if success eludes initially,” said Mr. Reddy, who won the gold medal in 200m at the 1985 South Asian Federation (SAF) Games.

S. Subramhanyan, Divisional Railway Manager, observed that sports should be an integral part of personality development. “Sports is not just for leisure. It contributes to the overall well-being of a person. Taking part in sporting activities will help develop a healthy body and mind,” he said.

Mr. Subramhanyan assured that steps would be taken to upgrade the infrastructure in the Kallukuzhi ground.

N. Annavi, former international high jumper and TDAA secretary, said the camp attracted more than 100 participants and that the athletic meet aimed at identifying talent.

A. Kaliyamurthy, Superintendent of Police, gave away prizes to the winners in the presence of N. Sethuraman, president, RSCAA, and P. Palanivelu, Divisional Secretary, Southern Railway Mazdoor Union.