Poor barefoot athletes await help to fund trip for state meet

Poor barefoot athletes await help to fund trip for state meet
The budding athletes who have been running on gravel and rocks will now have to compete on the synthetic track in the stadium.
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Kasaragod: Students who were expected to be chosen for the state athletics meet in Thiruvananthapuram here are a worried lot as they are short of money for personal kit and travel. A student will need a minimum of Rs 600 to travel to Thiruvananthapuram and back.

Around 150 athletes are likely to be chosen for the event to be held in the southern city from October 26. Most of them are from financially backward families. They do not even have jerseys and shoes for use at the state meet. The district school games association and the district education authorities are unable to even provide the children with money they need for their travel expenses.

Last time, the district collector and district panchayat president intervened to arrange for jerseys and shoes for their participation in the state meet. The district education authorities are expecting their intervention this year too.

More concern

The budding athletes who have been running on gravel and rocks will now have to compete on the synthetic track in the stadium. By 11 am, the synthetic track becomes hot and running on a hot synthetic track barefoot is not advisable.

Trainers say that barefoot running on hot synthetic track is similar to running on hot tar. Besides, without enough practice on synthetic tracks, the athletes from the district won't be able to get the result they are expecting. Wearing suitable shoes will help the athletes immensely.

At district school meets, javelin and pole that students use are made out of bamboo. At the state meet, they will have to use javelin and pole made out of costly metal and fibre. Students who have been using substandard equipment for their district-level training are worried how they will perform with unfamiliar equipment at the state meet.

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