The award instituted in the memory of Olympian Suresh Babu by the Nectar Sports Trust was presented to decathlete P.J. Vinod at a function held at the KSSC hall here on Friday.
The award of a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and a plaque was presented to the champion athlete by the KSSC President, Padmini Thomas, who in her address later, recalled the contributions of Suresh Babu to Indian and Kerala athletics through his career as an athlete and coach spanning well over four decades.
In his memorial reference, Palode Ravi, MLA, called for decentralisation of the sports sector and enactment of suitable laws to enable people from all walks of life to take part in the promotion of sports and games effectively. “Now sport is beyond the reach of the common man, as the decision-making process is entirely in the hands of either the bureaucracy or a select few.
“For sports to flourish in India and to ensure that the wholesale contributions made by Suresh Babu through his glittering career is not laid waste, it is essential that the Government should step in and make laws to ensure that all matters relating to sporting activities including decision making is transferred to the public at large, “ he said.
The NST president, M.N.C. Nair presided. The KSSC secretary, P.S. Abdul Rassak, LNCPE principal, G. Kishore, the Additional Director (Sports and Youth Affairs) S. Najimuddin and former athlete and Suresh Babu’s young brother, M.B. Sathyanandan were among others who spoke.
Receiving the award, Vinod exuded happiness for being selected for honour in the memory of his coach and mentor, whom he said was always a source of inspiration not only to himself but to the entire athletic fraternity across the country.
A website (www.olympiansureshbabu.com) highlighting the career of Suresh Babu and his achievements has already been launched by his family. Suresh Babu passed away on February 18, 2011 while being away in Ranchi as chef-de-mission of the Kerala contingent at the 34th National Games.