The Tourism Department is set to launch an IPL-model boat race league in the State. The plan is to organise all the boat races in the State, from the Nehru Trophy boat race in Alappuzha to the President’s Trophy in Kollam, in the form of a league that will be known as the Kerala Boat Race League. All the boat races in five districts, except those which are related to religious customs, will be part of the league.
A meeting chaired by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran decided to organise the league from August 11 to November 1 this year. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race to be held in Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha on August 11 will be considered as the qualification race for the league. The league will have 12 races, with the concluding race as the President’s Trophy race in Kollam on November 1. An international campaign will be launched to attract tourists. Out of the 20 snakeboats that participate in the Nehru trophy, nine will qualify for the succeeding league races. The league races will be at Punnamada, Pulinkunnu, Kainakari, Karuvatta, Mavelikara, Kayamkulam and Kottappuram in Alappuzha district, Thazhathangadi in Kottayam district and Kallada and Kollam in Kollam district. The league races will be organised as water festivals in each of these places.
Each of the teams that qualify for the league will be given a bonus of ₹4 lakh per venue.
The teams coming in the first three places in each race will get a cash prize ranging from ₹1 lakh to ₹5 lakh. The overall winners will get a prize money between ₹6 and ₹10 lakh. As much as 75% of the team members have to be natives.
The expected expense for organising the Kerala Boat Race league is ₹15 crore. An amount of ₹10 crore has already been earmarked in this year’s budget for the purpose. The rest of the amount will be garnered through sponsorships.