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G.V.Raja (The history of Sports and Games in Kerala)

Submitted by UMAMAHESWARI on Sun, 2006-12-03 20:36.
col. g v raja
Kerala school athletic meet is on. It is the golden jubilee year. In this context it is worth remembering Col.Goda Varma Raja who palced Kerala on the sports map of India.

There were no sports and games held without G V Raja. History and development of sports and games is a long story of dedicated services and sacrifices that he made.
Born to Ambalika and Puthusseri Narayanan Nampoothiri in Poonjar in 1908, G V Raja married Karthika Thirunal Lekshmi Bayi, the Princes of Travancore, in 1934. He was a born sports man, and always aimed for excellence. What we have achieved in the field of sports, aviation, and tourism are the results of his untiring effort, vision, and foresight.
G V Raja the great patron of sports established the sports council in 1954, the first of its kind in India. He took the initiative to form the Golf club association here. A man who was always on the move foot ball and tennis were his favorite games. A globe trotter, whatever good things he saw abroad, he earnestly established it in Kerala. It was he who brought surfing and mountaineering to the city for the youth to imbibe a love for adventure. He did a mountaineering course in Switzerland, and enjoyed mountaineering at the Alps. He was a person with extraordinary ability to organize things. His passion for work is worth emulating. He was a man of firm resolve. What he valued was not a personal success but to be of help to young sports men. A man of foresight he believed professional coaching is essential for sports too and brought A G Ram Singh to train cricket enthusiasts in Kerala.
Amidst his busy schedule when Col. Thirumeni as he is called affectionately called reaches TTC other members would have finished their practice. He used to call the picker boys Maniyan or Thnakappan to play against him. And finally these two rose to the rank of State tennis players.
Col. Thirumeni, formed an indoor stadium at Shangumukham, roller skating ring, Veli boat club, and Sreepadam stadium at Attingal. In 1953 he conducted Trivandrum-Kochi swimming competition. He formed the aquatic association and was the president of Lawn tennis association.
G V Raja was attacked by a tusker He later wrote, “I escaped with no serous injury, except a four inch hole on my right thigh. My foot ball days might have triggered off some reflexes. I have been force to remain confined to bed. I may console myself that it took an elephant to do it”
In 1971 he went to Patiala, to participate in All India sports Council Conference. He made an unscheduled trip to the Kulu Valley on 30th April 1972. With Bolineye, the then Aero Club president, and his nephew Inderjith, G V Raja, flew in a three-seater aircraft. It nose dived and crashed.
He had great desire to see Viscount Flight landing in Trivandrum. It first landed with his corpse in it. His body was cremated at Poonjar. He was the great edifice on whom all sports activities were built. His services will always be treasured by posterity.
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