The state government on Friday inked an MoU with the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation, Hyderabad to upgrade the Odisha-SAI Regional Badminton Academy to a world-class training centre.
According to the MoU, the foundation will provide technical support for overall development of badminton training in the state. The initiative is also aimed to help in producing world class badminton talents.
The MoU was signed between sports secretary Vishal Dev and national badminton coach P Gopichand.
Speaking on the association, Gopichand said it’s an honour for the foundation to be associated with the state government. “We are aligned to their vision to keep producing world class talent. The trajectory of badminton as a sport in India has hit new highs in the recent past, with top players like Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu winning major honours at regular intervals,” said Gopichand.
On the MoU, Gopichand said, “The academy in Odisha will help in keeping the momentum up and we hope to nurture great talent right from the grass roots to the international levels.”
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who attended the MoU signing ceremony, said badminton is one of the focus areas in sports for Odisha.
“Under the guidance of Gopichand Academy, I am confident that we will be able to nurture and groom world class talents of the future. I want Odisha to win Olympics medals for India and we are all committed to make this into a reality.”
With air-conditioning indoor hall, advanced gym and scientific supports, the regional academy here started functioning from May last year at Saheed Nagar in the city. It has total 27 trainees from Odisha, West Bengal and Assam and three coaches including international player Romen Ghosh.
The state government also launched a coffee table book and documentary in celebration of the state successfully organizing the Asian Athletics Championships (AAC) in July, last year.
Naveen, Gopichand and sports minister Chandra Sarathi Behera released the coffee table book that captures the action and emotions of AAC along with how the state government prepared the infrastructure in just 90 days.
Sports secretary Vishal Dev said the state government is committed for development of sports and the AAC 2017 was the perfect example as it inspired to take up the challenge and turn things around in a record 90-day.\”We are proud that the Kalinga Stadium is a symbol for world class sporting events, and upcoming events like the Hockey World Cup in 2018 will only reinforce this,” Dev said.