Thiruvananthapuram: Former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is joining hands with the state government in the awareness programmes against liquor and drug abuse. He has also agreed to set up a residential football academy in the state to groom footballers of international standards.
Tendulkar, who held talks with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Wednesday, agreed to a request of the Chief Minister to be part of the awareness initiates against liquor and drug abuse.
“We are happy to have a leading sportsperson like Tendulkar, who has a clean image, to be part of the anti-liquor and anti-drug awareness campaigns," said Mr Vijayan and added that the modalities of the role of Tendulkar in the campaign would be decided in due course.
Tendulkar, who was in the city to announce the new partners of Kerala Blasters football team, also accepted the state's request to set up a residential football academy to groom young footballers of international talents. "Our vision is to identify hundreds of young footballers and give them a chance to chase their dreams. The journey towards this direction has already begun. More infrastructure needs to be provided for the improvement of sport,” Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar, who was also accompanied by his wife Anjali and actors Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna and Allu Aravind, said the Kerala Blasters could already enhance the interest among Keralites towards football and also inspire many youngsters. “We have plans to make the team more vibrant," said the legendary sportsperson.
Mr Vijayan said that the state government and Kerala Blasters would be chalking out a five-year plan for the comprehensive development of football in the state....