Alappuzha: Perhaps boat race lovers here will get a chance to watch the district collector cheering 100 oarsmen in the pulsating Nehru Trophy Boat Race (NTBR) on the Punnamada Lake on August 10.
The previous edition had witnessed a boat club led by policemen contesting unsuccessfully for the title. Drawing inspiration from them, the civil servants held a meeting Tuesday to chalk out the blueprint of their team.
I. Abdul Salam, additional district magistrate (ADM), said that they had got the approval of district collector Dr Adeela Abdulla for State Civil Service Boat Club. Sports-quota-employees from various departments will get priority in the selection of rowers.
The meeting decided to go forward with the registration procedures of the club and constituted a general committee of employee organisations and department heads to discuss its various aspects. The committee will sit on Thursday for a detailed discussion, including the building of a new snake boat for the team.
"All have taken up this long-standing cause with a great deal of enthusiasm," Mr Salam said.
At least 20 clubs used to participate in the NTBR every year. Of late, they were roping in military personnel and professional oarsmen from other states.
Young rowers from Kashmir were a special attraction for the last two editions. According to the traditional boat race lovers, the modern-day clubs, mostly owned by NRIs, shell out at least Rs 1 crore. The team comprising 100-120 oarsmen undergoes weeks-long rigorous practice in various parts of Kuttanad.
Government employees try their luck in their first contest as NTBR Society, the organisers of the annual event, began preparations for its 67th edition.
The NTBR will also open the tourism department's launch edition of Champions Boat League (CBL) which will conclude on Nov 1, the Kerala formation day, with the President's trophy on the Ashtamudi lake in Kollam.
The winner will take Rs 25 lakh, the runner-up Rs 15 lakh and the second runner-up Rs 10 lakh....