The South Indian Kerala took its first firm step towards hosting the 35th
National Games, from January 31 to February 14, with a bang as the 30-day
countdown to the event at the Central Stadium evening left the
crowd enthralled in more ways than one.
There was this unusual gathering of Kerala's sporting icons,
all on the same platform.
K.C. Elamma, glamour girl of Indian volleyball of the
1970s, athletes M.D. Valsamma, Shiny Wilson, K.C. Rosakutty, K.M. Beenamol, and
Anju Bobby George, spiker Cyril C. Valloor, hockey star S. Omanakumari,
swimmers Wilson C. Cherian, and Sebastian Xavier shared jokes but all the same
greeted Dronacharya award winners Sunny Thomas, K.P. Thomas, and Jose Jacob
with due respect.
Then there was the burly Varghese Johnson caught chatting
with D. Chandralal, while George Thomas and V. Diju exchanged notes on
A little away, Preeja Sreedharan was seen in conversation
with Sinimol Paulose, Chitra K. Soman, and Joseph G. Abraham, while footballer
U. Sharaf Ali looked on.
The evening saw the launch of the virtual torch and the
unveiling of the volunteers’ uniform and medals to be presented to the winners.
There was also a fusion dance by the Samudra Dance Group and
a jugalbandi between violinist Bala Bhakar and percussionist Mattannur Sriraj.