Rich tributes were paid to the late Olympian Suresh Babu on his first death anniversary here on Sunday.

At a function organised jointly by the Thiruvananthapuram District Sports Council and the District Olympic Association at the KSSC hall, the former Sports Minister, M. Vijayakumar, in his inaugural address, urged the Government to name the main stadium, to be constructed as part of the 35th National Games, in the memory of Suresh Babu.

Tracing the achievements of the late Olympian, Mr. Vijayakumar said Suresh Babu was a true all rounder who showed great commitment for the overall development of sports in the State.

He said the Government should also take steps to realise the wish of Suresh Babu in moulding an athlete from the State to win a medal at the Olympic Games.

“Unfortunately, it was a crucial juncture that Suresh Babu passed away. It was because of his unexpected and sudden demise that stopped the previous Government from implementing the ‘Go for Gold' scheme that Suresh Babu had submitted.

“However, it should be taken forward and I hope that the Government would consider implementing the scheme with all seriousness.”

Delivering the keynote address, Palode Ravi, MLA, said the Kerala State Sports Council should take steps to make sure that a biography of Suresh Babu is compiled.

“It would serve the purpose of keeping alive the great deeds of Suresh Babu and a helpful guide for future generations to understand the commitment with which he pursued athletics.”

The KSSC president, Padmini Thomas, recalled on how Suresh Babu had helped her to come up as an athlete and the pains he took to stand by her when she had taken ill once during a National camp in Patiala.

“I, in fact, have no words to describe his humane approach and the trouble he undertook in ensuring that I was not left neglected. To me, he was an elder brother.”

SAI coach, M.B. Sathyanandan, Suresh Babu's younger brother, in his intervention, recalled the late Olympian's concern for his fellow athletes and the values of truthfulness and hard work that he tried to impart of his trainees.

The TDOA president, Karmana Hari presided. The TDSC president, D. Mohanan, the KOA joint secretary, P. Sasidharan Nair, Additional Director (Sports & Youth Affairs), S. Najimuddin and the TDSC vice president, A.M.K. Nizar spoke.

In the meanwhile, NECTAR, an organisation of coaches and athletes, announced the establishment of an award in the memory of Suresh Babu.

A press release said that the inaugural award would be given to National decathlon champion, P.J. Vinod, one of Suresh Babu's trainees and who is currently away representing the country at the Asian indoor championships now on in China.

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