Mercy Kuttan Athletic Academy launched
Kerala Education Minister MA Baby today called upon budding athletes to work hard to reach the "highest level" in sports.
Inaugurating the 'Mercy Kuttan Athletic Academy' here, started by Olympian Mercy Kuttan and husband Murali Kuttan to groom and nurture the young sporting talents, the minister emphasised the need for physical fitness for athletes.
Citing the example of Sachin Tendulkar, the minister said one of the reasons for his phenomenal success is his "self discipline."
He said upcoming athletes should undergo "rigid training" and bring laurels to the country.
Baby said non-government organisations could contribute a lot for the development of sports.
Lauding the efforts of Mercy, who won silver in long jump at 1982 Delhi Asiad, in starting the academy, state Sports and Law Minister M Vijayakumar said the academy would be recognised as a 'sports hostel' and would get all benefits from the Kerala Sports Council.
The academy's main base would be at the Sacred Heart College's Lakeview stadium at nearby Thevara and coaching would be provided at the synthetic tracks of Maharaja's College ground, Mercy said.
Eleven students, including seven girls, all under 13-years, selected from all over the state, would be trained for track and field events including sprint, middle distance run and jumps.
The academy would arrange facilities including food, sports kit, stay and medical assistance, said Mercy.
"With proper coaching, I am sure the young athletes would come up with excellent performances," she said.
Mercy and husband Murali, the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games 400m bronze medallist, who is a NIS coach, would impart coaching to the athletes.
Mercy also earned the title of being the first woman from Kerala to win a medal in the Asian Track and Field meet.
The minister also lauded former sprint queen PT Usha for her contribution to the development of sports by providing coaching to young talents at the PT Usha School of Athletics in Kozhikode.