A. Vinod

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Government Higher Secondary School at Panampilly Nagar in Ernakulam, to which a sports hostel is currently attached, will be upgraded as a Sports School during the next academic year.

This will raise the number of Sports Schools in the State to three. At present, there are only two such institutions in the State — the G.V. Raja Sports School in Thiruvananthapuram and the Sports Division in Kannur.

Disclosing this to The Hindu here on Wednesday, the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC) President, T.P. Dasan said the decision to this effect was taken by a high-level meeting attended by the Education Minister, M.A. Baby and the Sports and Youth Affairs Minister, M. Vijayakumar.

The meeting, he said, has also decided to admit students from the fifth standard from the next academic year to all the three Sports Schools. Currently, the admission to these institutions is limited only from the eighth standard.

The KSSC will henceforth also play a major role in the administration of the Sports Schools in the State. It will be entrusted with overseeing the training aspect of the children besides the administration of the hostel facilities. The academic training at these institutions will be run by the Education Department.

To ensure proper functioning of the Sports Schools, the KSSC will appoint a Sports Officer in each of these institutions, who will report to the School Principal. Besides, the appointment of coaches to these institutions will also be the responsibility of the KSSC, which will also provide additional funds to cover the extra costs for diet of the trainees and other facilities.

A committee with the School Principal as Chairman will oversee the day-to-day functioning of these institutions. Steps will be also taken to upgrade the G.V. Raja Sports School and the Sports Division as Centres for Excellence as recommended by the State Sports Commission.

Mr. Dasan said the KSSC would also take up with the Government the establishment of a Sports School each in the remaining 11 Districts in a phased manner.

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