Babykutty, Kottayam, 29th June 2015: It was a day of joy, celebration and self-fulfillment for the basketball fraternity of Kottayam District. Acknowledging the brilliant performance of the Kottayam District basketball teams in the year 2014-15, Kottayam District Basketball Association (KDBA) felicitated their players and coaches who brought medals to the district in all divisions, during a colourful function held here at the Girideepam Bethany Auditorium, Kottayam.
Those felicitated included the U-13 boys who won gold and the girls who won bronze, the U-16 and under 19 category boys who won silver and the U-19 girls who won bronze at the Kerala State Championship in the 2014-15 season.
Kottayam also proved its mettle in the shortest version of basketball. In the 3 on 3 Kerala State Senior and Junior Championship held at Alapuzha, their senior women’s team Assumption College and Senior men SB College won gold defeating professional sides from the State. In the same tournament, Kottayam Junior boys won the gold medal, thereby completing the rare feet of winning medals in all three divisions in that particular tournament.
The district can also be proud as the player groomed from Kottayam, Geethu Anna Rahul, bagged the most prestigious Arjuna Award, last year.
Talented Cager Poojamol K.S of Assumption college who represented Senior India and Captained Jr. India at the Asian Championship and former Mount Carmel product Vinaya Joseph, who represented the U18 Indian Team in the Asian Jr Championship were honoured by the chief guest Shri K. S. Warrier, Chairman Kottayam Municipal Council. Prof Ignatius John Patron of KDBA and former Tec. Committee Chairman of Kerala Basketball Association were feted on the occasion with ponnada.
The coaches honoured include international coaches working at Kottayam, Dimal. C. Mathew (SB College) and Prem Kumar Vattapally (St Ephremes Mannanam), Aji Thomas of St Ephremes, Mannanam who coached the gold winning U-13 sub junior boy’s team at the State Sub Junior Championship held in Anchal, Johnson Mathew of Girideepam and Anish Kurain from St Anns, Kurianad, and Aby from the Lourde Public School.
The function was presided over by Shaji Jacob, President Kottayam District Basketball Association. Shri Biju D Themman, Secretary welcomed the gathering. Those speaking on the occasion included FR Jose Maridas OIC, Chief Patron, KDBA, K K Kurian Senior Vice President of Kottayam District Basketball Association and V. C. Alex and concluded by Vote of Thanks from Prof Soji Joseph Athikalam, physical education teacher of SB College.
The presence of former Internationals Molly Mathew and International Referee Rajamon, International Athletic Tec. member Dr Jimmy Joseph, former State players Saji Abraham and Siby, added colour to the function which was attended by parents, players and office bearers of various clubs of Kottayam.
The function thanked the 20 basketball coaches working in different schools and colleges of Kottayam District who were instrumental in bringing this glory, of which 13 were amateur coaches. The function also remembered the Junior NBA, the grassroots development programme of basketball which were done in 40 schools in the district last year, for three months under the tutelage of Coach Sydney Hayden from USA.
All the team members and coaches were given mementos. Jr NBA Programme coordinator K. O. Oommen and Suma Joseph, National Games Selector were also feted on the occasion. Above all, the basketball fraternity get-together also provided an occasion to former and current players, parents of the players, coaches and the KDBA members to interact with each other in order to provide an impetus to promote basketball and go ahead with a renewed spirit.