Many students of the athletics school of Kadalundi panchayat have made it big at national-level track and field events.

Not many grama panchayats in the State would have a sports council of its own, or even its own facility to pick out the stars of tomorrow at a tender age. It was on an experimental basis that the Kadalundi grama panchayat in Kozhikode district took its baby steps into sports development.

However, the attempt was genuine and it has borne fruits in plenty.

Eight years down the line, the panchayat has quite a bit to boast of in the form of the sports persons who have benefited from its scheme and made it big in the State as well as national level.

The Sports Council founded by the panchayat with the help of Sports Education Promotion Trust (SEPT) in 2006 manages an athletics school and a football academy. Schoolchildren up to 13 years of age within the panchayat limits are enrolled into the school or the academy based on their talent and interest. Coaches have been appointed by the panchayat to train them in the sport they are best at.

Training

Now there are 25 students each for athletics and football. Training is held every morning and evening under the guidance of coaches Sajid Rahman and M. Shineesh for athletics and football respectively.

The athletics team trains at the Umbichi Haji Higher Secondary School grounds at Chaliyam, while the football team uses the Panchayat Mini Stadium or the University of Calicut’s training grounds.

Achievements

Many students of the athletics school have made it big at the State and national level athletics meet.

Their recent conquests include a first prize in sub-junior girls’ 600m race at the State Amateur Athletic Meet by Anaswara K. She was also part of the 4x100m relay team that bagged the first place at the Pyka- National Athletic Championship in Aurangabad. Akshay U. bagged second place in the under-12 boys’ 100m race while Ananya P won second place in the under-12 girls’ 200m race at the Mini Athletic Meet held at Ernakulam. Akash K.P. bagged third place in the sub-junior boys’ 600m race in the State Amateur Meet at Ernakulam.

Laurels

Akhilesh O. and Sumisha P. participating in the All India Inter District Athletic Championship in Ranchi last week are also an encouragement to the athletes in the school who are trained in sprint, jump as well as throw events.

The football academy too has produced quite a number of shining stars. Four students – Mohammed Ansar, Vishnu, Figo Anil and Abdul Azeeb were part of the Kozhikode district team that went to the State Championship at Ernakulam in November 2013. Abdul Azeeb was also part of the Kerala State team that bagged the third place in the under-13 National Championship held at Kalyan in West Bengal.

The present as well as past councils of the panchayat have supported the Sports Council by all means. Every year the panchayat sets aside Rs.4 lakh to Rs.5 lakh for development of sports, which is quite a big amount for a panchayat. The parent-teacher associations, school managements and general public too pitch in as they consider this one of their prestigious projects. The success of the Kadalundi Panchayat Sports Council is a reminder that earnest efforts bear fruit.

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