Kerala will field a 262-strong contingent at the 34th National Games to be held in Jharkhand from November 21 to December 5. The State has qualified to participate in 21 disciplines at the fortnight-long Games to be held in three centres — Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad.

A meeting of the Secretaries of the State Sports Associations, convened here on Monday, by the Kerala State Sports Council took stock of the preparation of the State teams in the various disciplines.

Later, giving details to The Hindu, the KSSC President, T.P. Dasan said coaching camps will be held at various centres in the State from October 25 to November 15 under the supervision of the respective State Sports Associations. The team will be leaving for Jharkhand in three batches from November 16.

Olympian Suresh Babu will be the chef-de-mission of the Kerala contingent for the Games. Two deputies to assist him will be named later.

Cash awards enhanced

The cash awards for winners of the gold, silver and bronze medals have been enhanced to Rs. 2 lakh, Rs. 1.5 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh respectively. The corresponding figures for the winners of the medals at the Guwahati National Games were Rs. 1.5 lakh, Rs. 1 lakh and Rs.75,000.

National campers will be spared from taking part in the coaching camps being arranged here. They will be asked to report directly to the centre in which the competitions of their respective disciplines are held, Mr. Dasan said.

The disciplines in which Kerala has qualified are: athletics, aquatics, volleyball, handball, football, badminton, cycling, rowing, canoeing/kayak, fencing, shooting, kho-kho, weightlifting, gymnastics, boxing, basketball, rugby 7s, karate, squash, lawn bowls and yachting.