Veterans lead by example

CONGRATULATIONS: B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar (left), Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore Kendra, felicitates a veteran athlete at a function in Coimbatore. Walter Davaram (second left), President, TNMAA, looks on.  

Rayan Rozario

They shone in the 14th Asian Masters Athletic Championship last month

Coimbatore: It was a pleasant afternoon for the veteran athletes of Tamil Nadu at the IMA Hall on Brooke Bond Road here on Sunday.

The Tamil Nadu Masters Athletic Association (TNMAA) got together with the Coimbatore District Masters Athletic Association in honouring its veterans who had done the nation proud in the 14th Asian Masters Athletic Championship in Bangalore last month.

India emerged the overall champion with a staggering tally of 174 gold, 198 silver and 185 bronze medals for a total of 557 medals. The Tamil Nadu athletes reaped a rich harvest of 160 medals.

"It is really a great effort considering the fact that our country is losing its hold in almost all its favourite sports disciplines. The present is not as pleasant as the past. India once dominated the hockey world but now it finishes a poor 11th in a 12-nation tournament.

"The same is the case with cricket. Even in the ongoing Doha Asian Games, the Indian team has promised just a couple of gold medals. So don't you think our veterans have done a great job and deserve to be honoured?" queried Walter Davaram, the TNMAA president.

He said the veteran athletes were shining examples to our youth. "Our State athletes have not only struck the gold mine in the national championship but also played a crucial role in the Asian Masters. It comes as a big inspiration to our youth. It's time they follow their way."

B.K. Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, Chairman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, also appreciated the hard work of the veterans.

"Age is no barrier to perform wonders. It is the commitment that matters. During our days, the physical education directors were looked upon as role models. Today, nobody cares to look at them. We are living in an era of knowledge explosion."