I have here photos of us from Pala, Kerala with medals in the just concluded National Masters Games in Vadodara.
My Alma Mater in Pala, St. Thomas College was the first college in Kerala with own swimming pool when we were students. Now it’s the only college in Kerala with the Olympic size 50 meter swimming pool.
Pala is also home to ‘Thoppans Swimming Academy’ training many swimmers. One of the coaches from the swimming family Thomas Thoppan (second from left) has been to a number of World Masters Games.
And Prof. Sebastian (extreme right, next to me) is the eldest swimmer from Kerala and have come 7th in World Masters Games.
With competition for age brackets of 5 years starting from 25 to 100, masters games is the right ingredient for athletes to be evergreen and competing.
The YouTube link below is of the program broadcast by Kerala’s leading TV news channel, Asianet, featuring me.
It’s in Malayalam language and the message I am giving is that ‘sportsman never retires’ and masters games competition helps to build a healthy nation.
There’s a call for government support and corporate sponsorship for the games and athletes.
I am accompanying a contingent of 392 athletes representing Kerala to compete in the National Masters Games in Vadodara (Gujarat) in February 2020.
Masters Games are for veterans and competitions are for older age groups in brackets of five years, like 50 to 54, 65 to 69, 74 to 79 etc.
The events include athletics, swimming, and various popular group games like football, volleyball, hockey and skill events like archery, shooting etc.
This is a great opportunity for sports people to continue the preparations and training for top honours.
There’s in fact world championships and world records for each age group for various items.
Absolutely a golden opportunity for keeping fit and achieving dream honours.
Having qualified to compete in the National Masters Swimming Meet, I have been working on the technique and for the first time under coaches.
The immediate target is the National Masters Games at Vadodara, Gujarat. But I am a dreamer and I am doing what dreamers do usually.
The next step is the World Masters Games in Kansai, Japan in 2021.
That’s it, the eyes are on participating in the World Games and for that I have to do well in the National level.
Going for a disciplined training and hope the body will cooperate to get through the rigour.
Masters Games are also for those who think that they might have lost out in the prime age sports leading to Olympics.
I am one of them! A great sports enthusiast, I took the ‘little bit of everything’ route rather than concentrating on one event and to get specially trained on that.
Perhaps I did think that I should have been super trained in one of them.
That’s when I heard about the Masters Games. It covers almost all (if not all) sports events and there are State level, National level and International level competitions for age groups in steps of 5 years from 30 onwards till 80 plus.
And surprise, there’s even World Records for the individual items.
I am a Master now and a Sportsman again!