Thiruvananthapuram: GV Raja Awards 2017, the highest sports award instituted by the Kerala Sports Council, were presented to sportspersons by Kerala Chief Pinarayi Vijayan at a function held at Jimmy George Indoor Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. The Chief Minister also presented the Olympian Suresh Babu Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award to noted badminton coach S. Muraleedharan.
Jinson Johnson (athletics) and Neena. V (athletics), Jinsy Johnson (volleyball college-level) and Abigeyil Arogyanathan (athletics school-level) received the awards for the best sportspersons.
Sports Council volleyball coach S Manoj was presented with the best coach’s award. Dr Mathews Jacob, Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam, was conferred with the best college sports teacher award. Assumption College, Changanassery, was given the award for the best college for remarkable sports achievements. This award consists of Rs 50,000 and citation.
At the event, awards were also distributed to the winners of the 2016-17 national and international competitions, including Asian Games, Kerala volleyball team that won the 66th national volleyball championship, and participants of the Special Olympics 2015 held in Los Angeles, US.
Presiding over the event, Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs E P Jayarajan said: “The government has earmarked Rs 700 crore for developing basic infrastructure in sports sector in the state. As part of this, stadiums are being set up in all districts. About 54 multipurpose stadiums are under construction.”
“The government has given jobs to 167 sportspersons, who have won national and international medals. This year, among the 248 sportspersons, 200 will be appointed to government service soon,” he added.