Mathrubhumi, one of the leading regional newspapers in Kerala launched over a century ago, has brought several remarkable regional journalists to the forefront. One among those names was Vimcy, a sports journalist who transformed the way sports were reported in the state. At a time when newspapers were flooded with national and state politics, readers eagerly looked out for the specific sports corner penned by Vimcy as he explored the pulse of sports like no other journalist at the time. On his birth anniversary, The Logical Indian revisits the beloved sports journalist's contributions.
Journey From 'Thampi' To 'Vimcy'
Vilayattasseri Mullambalath Balachandran, known better by the name Vimcy, was a sports writer based in Kerala. He was celebrated as a pioneer of sports journalism in the state for having shifted the relevance of sports from a tiny corner box in the newspapers to an entire page dedicated to its developments and achievements.
Born in the Kozhikode district to Dr Narayanan Nair and Narayani, Vimcy chose a rather differential path for himself through journalism. He was unable to finish his intermediate education at College due to ill health and soon joined a regional newspaper, Dinaprabha, as a journalist. He was familiar to readers by his pen name "Thampi", under which he wrote multiple articles on papers of Sanjayan and Viswaroopam. According to Wikipedia, even after his retirement, he was pulled in as an associate editor for Calicut Times for the kind of experience and quality Vimcy brought into the newsroom.
He went on to contribute to the sports columns for Mathrubhumi, Calicut Times and Madhyamam and gave a much-needed facelift to the way sports was perceived in the state. For this, he won numerous awards and titles, including those from the Kerala State Sports Council for lifelong contributions to the field of sports journalism, the Neelambaran Memorial award, and the Press Academy Silver Jubilee award.
Bringing Sports Journalism To Kerala
Even though Kerala is known to be home to many sports fanatics, the coverage of sports news was given very little preference in the early times of press media. Even Mathrubhumi, which was widely distributed and read among the localities, did not see more than a small snippet brief about all the important sports news. That was until Vimcy joined Mathrubhumi as the assistant editor in 1950 and introduced a new era of journalism.
Vimcy was associated with Mathrubhumi until his retirement in 1984, and it was during his tenure that Mathrubhumi saw an entire page dedicated to sports. He wrote extensively about football, a sport close to the heart of Keralites, and also curated the weekly sports feature page in Mathrubhumi known as "Sports Special". It was under him that sports writing became an entirely separate branch of journalism in Kerala. About a decade later, following the legacy Vimcy had left behind, Mathrubhumi launched a monthly sports magazine solely for sports lovers in the state.
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