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Gopichand Badminton Academy

Gopichand Badminton Academy is a badminton training facility in Hyderabad, Telangana, India.[1] Founded by the 2001 All England Open Badminton Champion, Pullela Gopichand, the facility trains several badminton players such as P. V. Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, Srikanth Kidambi, Arundhati Pantawane, Gurusai Datt, Arun Vishnu and Sameer Verma.[2]

Contents

HistoryEdit

By the time he won the All England Open Badminton Championships in 2001, Pullela Gopichand was already 27 years old and was struggling with a few injuries. With not many playing years left, Gopichand decided to bring a world-class training facility for the next generation. With that intention, Gopichand decided to form a badminton academy. Soon after his well-recognized win in England, the Government of Andhra Pradesh awarded him 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land in 2003.[3] The land in Hyderabad's Gachibowli area was offered as a lease at a very nominal rate for 45 years.[4] At the same time, he started talks with Yonex for sponsorship and also wanted to involve a foreign coach.[5][6]

In the following year, Gopichand formulated his plans for the academy and approached Nimmagadda Prasad, a distant relative and a serial entrepreneur, to raise money for this venture. At that time, Prasad sold Matrix Laboratories, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, to an American pharma company, Mylan Inc.. Since Prasad was convinced about Gopichand's idea, he immediately offered US$500,000 and his assistance in raising an additional amount of US$2 million. With cricket being a more popular sport, Gopichand and Prasad found it hard to raise additional money from other sources. Over time, Prasad increased his contribution to US$1.25 million. Gopichand's wife and former Olympian, P. V. V. Lakshmi, was very supportive of him and even contributed to the effort of securing monetary support.[7] Despite other donations, Gopichand could only gather US$1.75 million. It was then he decided to mortgage his family home and raise the remaining money for the already delayed project. In 2008, the facility was eventually completed at the cost of US$2.5 million.[3]

Immediately after the construction, the Government of India sent the Commonwealth Games team to train at this facility. The government increased the daily rate they pay per player to US$20 for this special Games camp. This was a big jump from the US$5 daily fee per player that the government had previously paid for other training camps.[3]

In 2008, Gopichand appealed to Bollywood, the Hindi cinema industry to become badminton's brand ambassador. He felt that by having a popular cinema icon supporting the sport will help popularize it.[8]

Despite Saina Nehwal's success in international tournaments, Gopichand found it hard to run the Academy. To run it at an optimal level, it requires US$300,000 a year. As of 2010, he was making do with US$100,000 to pay the training cost for 60 players and was holding off hiring more coaches.[3]

FacilitiesEdit

After construction, the US$2.5 million badminton training academy contains eight courts, a swimming pool, weight training room, cafeteria and rooms to sleep.[3] The construction of this facility was modeled after Bangalore's Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, which is headed by Prakash Padukone. The architectural design was completed by Hyderabad-based Arvee Consultants. The wooden flooring of the courts were made as per international standards.[7] In addition, physiotherapy, food and diet programs are also available.[9] The second such facility is opened at the Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex, Greater Noida. They have recently started their unit in Salem, Tamil Nadu.[10] There are already academies at the Gwalior, Vadodara and Hyderabad.[11]

Tournament centerEdit

The Academy has also served as a venue for major sporting events. The 2009 Indian Open was held here while the 2009 BWF World Championships used it as a training venue.[9][12]

Notable playersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Amirapu, Deepika (August 20, 2016). "How Indian badminton rocketed on the Gopichand shuttle". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016-08-23. 
  2. ^ a b Dua, Aarti (1 August 2010). "Star maker". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Anand, Geeta (6 October 2010). "Badminton Academy Trains Saina but Still Struggles". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  4. ^ M, Chhaya (28 May 2004). "Yonex to fund Gopi's academy". Rediff.com. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Atreyo (16 November 2003). "Gopichand to quit next year". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Badminton academy at Hyderabad soon". The Indian Express. 22 April 2003. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  7. ^ a b A., Joseph Antony (8 April 2004). "Master of multi-tasking". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "'Badminton needs Bollywood brand ambassadors'". The Indian Express. 3 October 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Gopichand lives a dream through academy". The Hindu. 29 March 2009. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  10. ^ "Badminton academy opened in Salem". The Hindu. 4 July 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  11. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/badminton/Gopichand-to-set-up-a-Badminton-Academy-in-Greater-Noida/articleshow/53301777.cms
  12. ^ "WBC begins amid high security, all eyes on Saina". CNN-IBN. 10 August 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  13. ^ "Top 10 World Rankingsurl=http://www.bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=15370". 
  14. ^ "BWF World Ranking". Badminton World Federation. Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  15. ^ http://www.bwfbadminton.org/page.aspx?id=14955
  16. ^ a b "BWF World Ranking". Badminton World Federation. Retrieved 15 October 2010.