Staff Reporter

KOCHI: About a hundred oarsmen from Ernakulam will exhibit their skills at Punnamada backwaters in Alappuzha on August 9. These oarsmen belong to the Amrita Boat Club of South Paravoor. They will paddle in unison to steer the snake boat ‘Ayaparambu Valia Diwanji’ at the famed Nehru Trophy boat race, to be witnessed by hundreds along the coast as well as thousands on television screens in a live telecast.

The team captain E.S. Dharmajan is brimming with hope that the oarsmen from Ernakulam will make their mark at the race. It is for the first time that a ‘chundan vallam’ (snake boat) from Ernakulam takes part in the Nehru trophy boat race, according to him. In fact, it gives extra thrill to the oarsmen, mostly hailing from fishermen’s families.

The run-up to the actual performance involves rigorous training sessions. This involves dedication on the part of the 100 oarsmen and support from their family members and friends. The practice sessions on the ‘chundan’ will start on July 27 at the Pothumoola landing centre at South Paravoor. Sebastian Paul, MP, K. Babu and Babu Paul, MLAs, and a host of dignitaries will witness the trials of the unique sporting event.