Usha School of Athletics to commence at new premises by 2010

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Kozhikode, Nov 13 (UNI) The Usha School of Athletics, dream project of India's former sprint queen P T Usha, will start functioning at its new premises in Balussery here by 2010.

Work on the hostel building and ground were almost over and the remaining job would be completed by then, its Chairperson P T Usha told reporters here today.

At present the school was working at a rented premise at Koilandi in the district.

Claiming that six out of the total 11 of her students had already proved their mettle at national level events, Usha hoped that they would be able to bring laurels for the country in the coming Asian Junior Athletic Champioship. They were given free training, accommodation and medicines matching international standards.

Pointing out that there was no proper arrangements in the country to provide international exposure to athletes, she said spotting right talents and providing them with expert training were the important criteria to compete in the world arena.

Usha, who lost a bronze medal at Los Angles Olympics by a whisker, said the Rs 50 crore school-project and its day-today expenses were met through donations from corporate houses, including Infosys and Dubai-based Shoba Developers.

On the reports over accepting donations of Rs 1.5 crore from a controversial real estate dealer Pharis Aboobacker, she said ''we are accepting donations for good intention'' without looking into the background of the donor, adding ''my only motive was development of the game.'' Mr Pharis had already contributed Rs 10.5 lakh out of the promised amount, she admitted.

Accounts of the School, a charitable trust set up by a group of youngsters, was audited properly and IT returns were filed appropriately, she said.

''Our only intention is to prepare the athletes bring laurels for the country'', she said, adding even world bodies, including the United Nations had appreciated her efforts.

On Central grant, she said the School had approached the Sports Ministry several times but was not successful due to procedural delays.

However, she said the Kerala Government had extended aid by releasing fund in alternative years, besides leased 30 acre land for 99 years for the project.

The School which imparted training to girl students, would also enlist boys once it was shifted to new premises, she added UNI

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