Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Friday called on athletes to strive hard without seeking short cuts to success in their attempt to bring glory to the State and country.

Delivering his inaugural address at a function arranged for the disbursement of cash assistance to clubs, individuals and institutions utilising the funds of the Directorate of Sports and Youth Affairs, Mr. Chandy said the Government was committed to conduct the 35th National Games in a big way. “It is the biggest venture being attempted by the State in order to establish modern infrastructure across all the seven cities which have been identified to host the Games. Athletes, thus, would be able to train in these modern facilities once the Games are over.

“However, the important thing to be understood is that there are no shortcuts in sports and games. To excel in these, the only way forward is to put one’s best foot forward without any compromise.

“The Government on its part will strive to do its best to support training programmes by releasing whatever funds were required. Already, the sports budget has been more than trebled since this government took office and this upward spiral in fiscal allotments would be continued,” he said.

A little over one crore rupees was distributed at the function. This included a grant of Rs. 10 lakh each to the Jumps Academy (Pala) and the Thiruvananthapuram District Table Tennis Association, for establishing a dedicated TT academy.

Further, Rs. 5 lakh was given to SEPT Football Academy (Kozhikode), while the champion schools — St. George HSS, Mar Basil HSS (both Kothamangalam), HS Parli and HS Mundur — were awarded Rs. 3 lakh each.

The Additional Director (Sports) S. Najimuddin presided over the function, which was attended by a packed house at the elegant Durbal Hall in the Government Secretariat.

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper