Kerala excels again, government to organise a state-level athletics competition for transgenders

12th Apr 2017
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In a noble attempt to bring to the transgender community a measure of normalcy, the sports council of the state of Kerala is soon going to organise the first ever state-level athletics meet-up for members of the community. This first-of-its-kind tournament will have the highly popular track and field competitions including the 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, and 4x100 m sprint events, high jump, and long jump.

Image source: Indian Express

Kerala has a reputation for being an ideal state in the country with respect to catering to the welfare of the transgender community. The state hosts Sahaj International School in Cochin, which was inaugurated and encouraged by the popular transgender rights activist, poet, and actor Kalki Subramaniam in December 2016.

Shyama S., a transgender from the state who was bullied and mocked for a feminine walking and running style when she was in school, is now ecstatic for getting an opportunity to participate in these competitions. The 25-year-old organiser of this mega event, in an interview with Times of India, said,

'Why do you run like a woman?' This was a common question encountered by many of us, and the fear of mockery forces us to stay away from sports days in schools and colleges. Even though we have made our presence felt in the cultural spaces and showcased our talents like in mimicry, dance, mono act, and so on, we were never given a platform to explore and experience our skills in sports until now. This event will be a revival of dreams for many, including me. The transgender sports meet will be an experience as well as an opportunity for everyone in the community.

Event coordinator Anil Arjunan told The Quint,

This will be the first-ever transgender sports meet, which is an initiative of the government. We are expecting around 20 participants from each district, and the representatives of each district will compete amongst each other. Also, a three-day warm up and coaching in different items will be given to the participants in their respective districts.

The Central Stadium in the Palayam area of Trivandrum is going to host this event on the 28th of April. State Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs A.C. Moideen, and the Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran are also a part of the organising committee, which clearly shows how keen and progressive the state government is with regard to the upliftment of the transgender community.

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