Kottayam: The three finalists for the Manorama Sports Club Award 2022 have been announced. The award, instituted by Malayala Manorama in association with Santa Monica Study Abroad Private Limited, intends to honour the contributions of clubs and academies to the state's sports sector during 2022.
The three contenders picked up by an expert panel are: Nattika Sports Academy, Thrissur; St. George Volleyball Club, Vazhakulam, Ernakulam; and SB Football Academy, Poovar, Thiruvananthapuram.
The winners will be announced at the Manorama Sports Awards ceremony. The first-prize winner will be given away the Manorama Sports Club Award and a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh while the second and third place winners will be awarded trophies and a purse of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh respectively.
Several clubs from across the state were in the fray for the Manorama Sports Club Award 2022 before the expert committee pruned the list to eight. Those who missed out on the final three spots are, Union Handball Academy, Annanad, Chalakudy; Lord's Football Academy, Kochi; Rural Coaching Centre, Neduveli, Thiruvananthapuram; Mahatma Sports Academy, Kottarakkara; and Pulari Swimming Club, Vembayam, Thiruvananthapuram.
The panel members visited the eight shortlisted clubs and interacted with coaches, sportspersons, and office-bearers in order to evaluate their achievements during the year under review. The members of the expert panel were P I Babu, joint secretary of the Athletic Federation of India and a member of the Kerala State Sports Council, former footballer and renowned coach T A Jaffar, and ex-Indian volleyball team captain and Arjuna Awardee Tom Joseph,
"Clubs and academies that provide basic infrastructure and training facilities to talented youngsters are the backbone of sports in Kerala. Development of sports is unthinkable without acknowledging their contributions to keep the state's sporting culture alive. Awards and recognitions will definitely energise them to keep up the good work," said Babu.
The winners of the Manorama Sports Club awards in the previous years were: Volley Friends Sports Centre Payambra, Kozhikode (2017), Olympic Athletic Club, Palakkad (2018), Pattern Sports and Arts Society, Karanthoor, Kozhikode (2019), and Young Men's Association, Thiruvallam, Thiruvananthapuram (2020-21).