The performances of students belonging to the Sports Hostels run by the Kerala State Sports Council has come under scrutiny what with these institutions failing to make any impact in the 56th State schools athletic which concluded here on Friday.
Of the seven KSSC sports hostels, attached to schools, none of them were shockingly able to win a gold medal in any of the 95 events which formed part agenda of the four-day event. These hostels have an effective strength of over 100 children, on whom the KSSC spends Rs. 100 on each student per day as diet allowance besides providing other amenities.
The hostel attached to the Calvary Mount HS in Kattappana (Idukki) was the best performer among the sports hostels winning three minor medals, while that run at the SH Girls High School, Bharanganam (Kottayam) managed just a silver. In the case of the Central Sports Hostels, only that from Kottayam managed to get itself into the medal tally with two medals while those from Kasaragod, Wayanad, Ernakulam, Kollam and Nedumgandam (Idukki) drew an absolute blank.
The KSSC secretary, P.S.Abdul Rassak admitted that the performances of the students attached to the sports hostels was quite disappointing and a proper review would be undertaken shortly. “We have already sought a report from coaches attached to each of these hostels seeking an explanation on the factors which led to such a disappointing show. Once it is received, a proper review would be undertaken and the matter placed before the Government,” he said.
Equally disappointing too were the performances dished out by the students of the prestigious G.V. Raja Sports School, Thiruvananthapuram and the Sports Division, Kannur, run directly by the General Education Department with the technical assistance of the KSSC.
42 athletes from G.V. Raja Sports School were part of the Thiruvanathapuram district team, but could only gain a poor total of 24 points from six categories. In the case of Sports Division, Kannur, which is exclusively for girls, it was even worse. None of the 20 athletes from the Division were able to win even a single medal, a new low in its performance graph.
Observers were aghast on the poor performances returned by students of the sports hostels and the G.V. Raja Sports School and the Kannur Sports Division. In the case of the latter two institutions, the Education Department entails a daily expenditure of Rs. 90 per student. The G.V. Raja Sports School has an effective strength of nearly 400 students while 200 students make up the rolls of the Kannur Division.
The competitions in the various events were conducted separately for General Schools and Sports Hostels for several years until 2010 when the format was revised to have one single competition for each event, based on the recommendations of the State Sports Commission in June 2009.
Former athletes and veteran coaches who spoke on the issue of the poor performances of students from the specialised sports hostels were unanimous in their opinion that a thorough overhaul in the functioning of these institutions were necessary with adequate steps taken for periodic review, both at the micro and macro levels.
Keywords: Kerala State Sports Council