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Creating champions is the aim of KALS

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LEARNING PROCESS: The former athlete Ashwini Nachappa watches cricket training in the presence of Mukesh Gandhi and Dodda Ganesh, coaches.
LEARNING PROCESS: The former athlete Ashwini Nachappa watches cricket training in the presence of Mukesh Gandhi and Dodda Ganesh, coaches.

JEEVAN CHINNAPPA

The Karumbaiah's Academy for Learning and Sports in Kodagu aims at creating champions in academics and sports.

The Karumbaiah's Academy for Learning and Sports (KALS), located in a sprawling 27-acre land near Gonicoppa in Kodagu, Karnataka, has only one aim creating champions both in academics and sports. Floated by the former `Sprint Queen' of India, Ashwini Nachappa, and her businessman-husband, Datha Karumbaiah, KALS has come around very well in its 20-month existence.The surroundings of KALS are enchanting. Unique architectural structures serve as classrooms. Novel seating methods have been adopted in the classrooms. Montessori classes are filled with ideal teaching aids. "We have secured ICSE affiliation till Class IX," says Ms. Nachappa.New accommodation for the hostel warden, class rooms for the PU block is ready. A well-equipped canteen looked very clean and spacious. Areas have been marked out for creating an artificial hockey turf, all-weather tennis court, eight-lane swimming pool, synthetic athletic track, and badminton courts. Currently, State Ranji player Dodda Ganesh and veteran coach Mukesh Gandhi are handling a cricket coaching camp that has attracted over 70 players from all over the district. The KALS would endeavour to develop each student into a champion, both in academics and sports, says Ms. Ashwini. KALS is not a commercial venture with a high fee structure, we only want to share our experience, she adds.And, every aspect will be developed professionally, she says. The KALS has tied-up with the Karnataka Swimming Federation for creating an eight-lane pool. It was in the process of forging a tie-up with a foreign company to develop the synthetic athletic track. The institution would extend free education and other facilities for a talented and deserving student hailing from economically weaker sections. The entire sports infrastructure would be ready by 2010, says Datha Karumbaiah, who is the chairman of the KALS. Parents should repose faith in us so that we can churn out the best, he adds.The presence of Dodda Ganesh and Mukesh Gandhi has inspired the youngsters at the cricket coaching camp which is a Karnataka State Cricket Association-supported venture.

Talent-spotting

The four-week camp is into the second week. `Boys have great talent here. The district can think of raising a `Coorg Zone' like Bangalore, Mangalore and other zones in the State' said Ganesh. Mukesh Gandhi endorses his views. The rise of stars from Kodagu such as Robin Uthappa, K.P. Appanna, the left arm spinner, who represented India-under 19, N.C. Aiyappa, who was adjudged the fastest bowler in the Dennis Lillee Foundation, K.M. Aiyappa and many others have inspired the youth of Kodagu to take to cricket in a big way, said Gandhi. A demonstration at the nets by the under-13 players did give one an impression that Kodagu could boast of cricketing names for future. Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Ganesh said that three teams would be picked from the camp, one under-13, under-15 and under-19 and rest would be left to the KSCA. The best could be invited to Bangalore for more exposure. We would like to organise matches involving the trainees here with players from Mysore, Bangalore areas, Mr. Gandhi said. Parental support was vital in deciding the sporting future of a child, Ms. Ashwini said. Indian bowling coach, Venkatesh Prasad, is likely to organise a clinic at KALS and Javagal Srinath too was expected to join the camp, she said. A follow-up of the progress of the trainees would be held once in three months.


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