Fighting polls being a good sport

A sportsperson, Akshaya is in the fray with promises of better sporting facilities

Promising improvement in sporting facilities as part of election campaigns is a rarity in local body elections, but as a sportsperson herself, Akshaya V.S. knows a thing or two about how such promises can sway the youth.

An accomplished handball player, who represented the Kerala team in 2018 Melamcode, she is the Left Democratic Front’s candidate in the Melamcode ward.

She has quite a challenge in front of her, to recapture a ward that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won in 2015. The sitting BJP councillor R. Sanil Kumar had won the ward by a massive 2,310 votes last time, in one of the biggest margins that year. The rather tough political assignment came at a time when she was forced to take rest from sporting activities after an accident earlier this year.

“I was under treatment and have been recovering well with the help of a physiotherapist and sports doctor. I still struggle to walk long distances, as there was some injury to the ligaments too,” says Akshaya.

She had begun training for and playing handball when she was in Class VI. She found a place in the school team when she reached Class IX. From there, it was a journey to the Kerala University team as well as the Kerala State team. She represented the State in a few tournaments in 2018, with the team’s fourth place finish at a women’s national event at Hyderabad being the high point.

A member of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI)’s district committee, the 22-year-old has completed one round of campaigning in her ward. Not a social media addict unlike most people of her age, she signed up for a profile in Facebook and downloaded Whatsapp only after she began campaigning.

“If I manage to win, there are quite a few issues that have to be taken up on priority, including water logging in some areas and road improvement works. There are also quite a few who do not have houses of their own. Then, of course there is a scope to turn a pond that has fallen into disuse into a swimming pool, where coaching can be organised. We already have another pool in the area, from where a lot of swimmers have trained. There is also scope for new sporting infrastructure in the region,” she says.


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