The 59th Kerala State School Athletics meet concluded in Kozhikode on Tuesday with notable performances by the young athletes and a few golden moments at the Olympian Rahman stadium at Medical College.
Hundreds of students from various schools took part in the championship which saw the rise of promising athletes. Ernakulam district came first backed by the impressive performance of Mar Basil HSS, Kothamangalam followed by Palakkad which retained its second position. The hosts Kozhikode came third. The event witnessed many national records being set and brilliant performances of young stars with many schools making their mark in the field of sports. No other sports event in country is held under such strict and proper guidelines. The well organized event received the huge support from the crowd which also led to its success. The state performing well in the sports meets without any challenges is nothing but due to the talents discovered during each championship. Jisna Mathew was the star of the whole event. Jisna who appeared for the international Youth meet has performed consistently and is a promising athlete with a great potential. Abitha Mary, Anumol Thambi, P R Ashwarya, Jiyo Jose and N Anas who set national records in the junior boys triple jump event and as well as in throw sections performed brilliantly. With such standout performances by the young talents, the future of sports in Kerala seems secure. The good organization and conduct of the event has outstripped all the complaints and drawbacks of the meet. Even though the event which was initially scheduled to be held in Malappuram was later shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College stadium, the hosts conducted the event excellently. But the controversy linked to the relay event during the third day spoiled the show to some extent. The problem that could have been solved in five minutes if proper manual guidelines were followed, took several hours to get sorted hindering the competition. Such disputes caused by the host district should be discouraged.
Due to the recent decision that the sports meets would be held only on synthetic athletic tracks, Kozhikode was hosting the event after an interval of two decades. The advantages of the tracks were seen during the event. As many as 20 records were broken including the very old ones. Controversies related to the use of drugs that surface during every meet was hardly heard during the event and the credit goes to NADA. But issues related to the age of those contesting in the junior and sub junior sections still exist. Sports equipment and electronic systems of high quality brought in for the event also increased its grandeur. If the facilities arranged by the state for the national games are fully utilized, the sports meet could be held with fewer flaws. However many questions surface when such events come to an end. Those who emerge triumphant in such sports meets are hardly seen after the event. While some take part in the international competitions, a few retreat after competing at national levels. A majority of them are forgotten after the event. Using the talent of young athletes just for temporary gains is being criticized severely. The unhealthy tendency of forcing the children to shoulder additional burden is also seen. This is to an extent wiped out by the new talents that are discovered during the event. Despite the state government spending huge money to maintain the sports schools and SAI centres, the promising athletes go in search of better training facilities placing their trust in future. The children constituting the winning teams belong to the districts that lag behind in scoring points. While Kozhikode failed to secure even a single medal in the sports meet, Kannur managed to gain 7 points. Thrissur and Malappuram were also seen putting up impressive performances. Conducting the event is not the sole aim. Sports education should be made compulsory in all schools. Talents in children should be found in young ages and encouraged. Efforts should be made to improve the performance of the young athletes through scientific and disciplined training.