Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan in a file photo

Hockey star Sreejesh claims neglect by Kerala govt; CM Vijayan rejects it

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 13 (PTI) Indian hockey star P R Sreejesh has alleged neglect of sportspersons and athletes by the Kerala government, saying since he has returned from China no one even from the local bodies has come to visit him.

The hockey player's claims were rejected by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who said the Left government was providing all kinds of support and encouragement to sportspersons and athletes from the state.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Sreejesh said the treatment sportspersons get now is being seen by the next generation and it will affect their decision whether to enter the field or not.

"They may feel discouraged by such treatment and may opt for studies to get a job, rather than go for sports," he contended.

Sreejesh criticised the political class in the state after West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose, who is from Kerala, met him at his residence in Kochi on Thursday to greet him on the Indian hockey team's performance in the Asian Games.

Sreejesh was part of the national hockey team which bagged the gold medal in the Asian Games 2023 held in China.

The CM gave a list of the cash prizes given to Sreejesh and other Kerala sportspersons in the past for their accomplishments at various international events.

Apart from giving cash rewards, around Rs 40 lakh has been sanctioned in the last few years for improving the training infrastructure for sportspersons in the state, he claimed while speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

Additionally, Kerala also provides jobs to sportspersons under the sports quota and it is the only state to do so in the country, he claimed.

Vijayan alleged that under the earlier UDF government, appointments under the sports quota were stalled between 2010-2014 and were started again after the LDF came to power.

Recently, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly V D Satheesan had demanded that the Kerala government take urgent measures to prevent athletes from leaving the state by providing them with the jobs and rewards announced by the administration.

In letters sent to Vijayan and Sports Minister V Abdurahiman, Satheesan had claimed that sportspersons were reportedly leaving Kerala en masse fed up with the alleged neglect they face from the state government and the sports department.

He said that according to news reports, international badminton player H S Prannoy and international triple jump stars Eldhose Paul and Abdullah Abubakar had announced that they were leaving Kerala. PTI HMP ROH SS

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)
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