Kozhikode

Kerala kayakers strive to make their mark at Malabar River Festival

Kerala trainer Nisthul Jose and two of his team members get ready for their turn at the International White-Water Kayaking Championship at Pulikkayam near Kodenchery in Kozhikode district.

Kerala trainer Nisthul Jose and two of his team members get ready for their turn at the International White-Water Kayaking Championship at Pulikkayam near Kodenchery in Kozhikode district. | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

They are on their home ground with bigger hopes. Many of their raw skills have been chiselled to meet international standards in the rapids. The paddlers from Kerala are battling it out with seasoned national and international paddlers in the Chalipuzha, striving to emerge victorious.

“We are in need of better attention and support. We also feel that we should get a deserving share of encouragement to conquer this watersport,” says Nisthul Jose, a leading paddler from the village who heads Kerala’s slalom team.

Mr. Jose, who also secured the fourth position in the head-to-head boater cross race on Saturday, says the achievements of the Kerala team members in various championships will also have to be highlighted at all venues like the achievements of international participants.

His senior team members Nikhil Das and Viswas Radh also support the call as the team has miles to go before it meets bigger targets. Though native paddlers are yet to grab coveted titles, they are getting good ground support with the huge presence of local kayaking fans.

Eight Kerala paddlers, five of them trained by Mr. Jose, have managed to enter the eighth edition of the Malabar River Festival. The Kerala Adventure Tourism Promotion Society and acclaimed trainers are also watching young native talents to give them more national and international exposure.

Paulson Arakkal, coordinator of the eighth edition of the championship, says native youths have fine-tuned their paddling skills to meet international kayakers in the rapids. He says the annual kayaking championship at Pulikkayam is offering them a great platform to learn and grow along with international talents.


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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 9:21:24 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kerala-kayakers-strive-to-make-their-mark-at-malabar-river-festival/article65765218.ece