Kerala State Tourism Department has lived up to its commitment to launch the Champions Boat League even if the bidding process for franchisee rights did not get interests desired for the unique league in a sports that also showcases the State’s rich cultural heritage.
The League, inaugurated today (Saturday) by Sachin Tendulkar, will run through 12 different venues across Kerala. The Kerala State Tourism Department initiative while providing a platform to grow the sport professionally also aims at promoting the God’s own Country as leading tourist destinations in the country.
“For years now elegant snake boats (chundan vallam) have been used for the world-renowned snake boat races that are conducted annually on the backwaters of Kerala as part of both rituals and festivities. Now, as part of a novel venture to protect and promote the tradition of the land, Kerala Tourism is launching the Champions Boat League,” states a quote on the Champions Boat League website.
The League, starting with the prestigious Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alappuzha today will run through 12 destinations across the State before concluding with the President’s Trophy Boat Race in Kollam on November 23. All the 12 events are scheduled for the weekends.
Champions Boat League teams: Tropical Titans – Pallathuruthi Boat Club, Alappuzha; Raging Rowers – Police Boat Club; Coast Dominators – United Boat Club, Kuttamangalam; Mighty Oars – NCDC/Kumarakam; Backwater Knights – Village Boat Club Edathua; Thunder Oars – KBC/SFBC, Kumarakam; Prider Chasers – Vembanad Boat Club, Kumarakam;
Backwater Warriors – Town Boat Club, Kumarakam; Backwater Ninja – Brothers Boat Club, Edathua.
Champions Boat League Schedule: 1. Nehru Trophy Boat Race, Alappuzha district (August 31); 2. Thazhathangadi, Kottayam district (September 7); 3. Karuvatta, Alappuzha district (September 14); 4. Piravam, Ernakulam district (September 29); 5. Marine Drive, Ernakulam district (October 5); 6. Kottappuram, Thrissur district (October 12); 7. Ponnani, Malappuram district (October 19); 8. Kainakari, Alappuzha district (October 26); 9. Pulinkunnu, Alappuzha district (November 2); 10. Kayamkulam, Alappuzha district (November 9); 11. Kallada, Kollam district (November 16); 12. President’s Boat Race, Kollam district (November 23).
The champion team will get a cash prize of ₹25 lakh, the runners-up receive ₹15 lakh and the second runners up get ₹ 10 lakh.
Kerala Tourism is supported in this bid by sponsors Nerolac Paints, HDFC Bank and Kerala State Financial Enterprsies. The other associates include broadcast partners Star Sports, marketing and communication partners Social Street, event partners E Factor and ticketing partners BookMyShow.
Kerala Tourism in July this year had invited bids for its ambitious project – Champions Boat League. In the absence of interests that could match the desired standards for owning up a Champions Boat League team, the department had decided to cancel the bid process. But the League is being launched as per schedule with the following nine teams, representing different boat clubs.
All races will be held in the afternoons: between 2.30 pm and 5 pm and will be broadcast live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil and Asianet Plus, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.