The team from Malaysia (Photo: courtesy V. Sreenivasan)

Team from Malaysia in Kerala to train under P. T. Usha

Almost seventeen years after it began operations on a modest scale, Usha School of Athletics in Kerala is set to receive its first batch of trainees from overseas.

A team of eleven athletes – six girls and five boys (plus their coaches) – from Malaysia’s Putra University are expected at the school from Saturday, March 30, 2019. They will train for ten days. The visiting athletes straddle a range of disciplines, V Sreenivasan, treasurer of the school and one of its directors, told this blog at the school premises in Kinalur near Kozhikode on Friday. They are at the school for advanced training.

According to him, from commencement of enquiry by the university to the arrival of the team at the school, it would have taken roughly two months of mutual communication and coordination.

The co-founder of the school and its chief coach, P. T. Usha, is among India’s most reputed athletes. While many elite athletes retire and fade once past their prime, she is one of the few who elected to contribute to athletics by starting an athletics training school. The school commenced work from rented premises in Koyilandy in May 2002. After the Kerala government provided it land on lease in Kinalur and initial facilities were set up, the school shifted to its current location.

It has groomed quite a few athletes of national and international caliber, among them – Olympians Tintu Luka and Jisna Mathew.

Enquiries similar to the one from Malaysia have emerged from institutions in Sri Lanka and the Middle East too, Sreenivasan said.

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.) 

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