K P Thomas an ex-athlete, mentor and coach is lovingly called Thomas Master. K. P. Thomas, 63-year-old, trains one hundred and seventy young athletes all for free in his school in Koruthode in Kottayam district in Kerala. Anyone with even a little athletic ambition in Kerala has heard about Thomas Master and comes to him for a fresh start in their career.”During workouts he’s strict. But otherwise, he’s so cool,” says one of the students.
There are very few times that the training is sponsored by local donors, otherwise its Master’s own pension fund that is used.
”Ninety per cent of the students are poor. Sports is their route to get good jobs. They see sports as their life’s goal,” says Thomas.
Olympian Anju Bobby George, sprinter Jincy Philips, and 800m double Asian Games gold medalist Shiny Wilson are some of the athletes who have received training from K P Thomas. As far as the training is concerned K P Thomas uses his own pension fund to train the athletes. Thomas makes it easy for those poor students for who sports are the route to get good jobs.