Kerala,May 20:Kerala, home of renowned sports stars like sprint queen P T Usha and fast bowler S Sreesanth, is all set to have an exclusive sports academy for girls at the sleepy town of Kumbalam near Kochi, to train sportswomen to attain Olympic standards.
Promoted by an NRI businessman working in Russia, the ‘Anjali Sports Academy’, planned to be launched in June this year, would begin by training handball players from the state, B Rajan, Vice President, All India Handball Association, who is behind the project, said in Kochi.
Former Russian Olympian and Ukraine national handball team coach Alexi Poppavich will be the coach of the academy. The duration of the coaching will be four years.
He said the plans were to initially recruit 50 girls in the age group of 12 to 15 years by 30th May. Poppavich, expected to arrive Kochi in the first week of June, will select 20 girls who would be given rigorous coaching to mould them into international standards.
Rajan said the coach has not insisted that the selected girls should have playing experience. His only demand was that the girls should be between 155 to 160 centimetres tall and that the team should have some left-handers.