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BAI ready to open Zonal Badminton Academy in Goa: Narahar Thakur

AUGUSTO RODRIGUES | NT

Panaji

“Badminton Association of India (BAI) is open to the idea of starting a Zonal Academy in Goa and Reliance have agreed to invest in badminton to prepare the India team for the 2024 Olympic Games,” Goa Badminton Association (GBA) President Narahar Thakur told The Navhind whilst disclosing the two major matters discussed in the last BAI AGM in New Delhi.

“To start an academy, the BAI needs the government to either provide land for the construction of infrastructure or should earmark existing infrastructure,” disclosed Narahar.

“Goa is gaining tremendously with the infrastructure being built for the National Games. There is now infrastructure in place for sports that had none and we in badminton are getting upgraded facilities which will be a big boost to us,” stated Narahar. “If you need something to happen, one needs to be patient. Sports in Goa will benefit a lot with the infrastructure being prepared for the National Games,” added Narahar.

“President Biswas Sharma has had discussions with Reliance and the company has pledged to spend on development of badminton for the next Olympics. Having a corporate like Reliance will go a long way in strengthening the sport in the country,” assured Narahar who was himself a badminton player of repute during his hey days.

“Anura Prabhudesai climbed great heights when there were hardly any facilities available to badminton players. I am confident that Tanya Crasto will reach great heights or go even further then Saina and Sidhu with the facilities being provided to her now,” declared Narahar when asked to assess the progress of players from Goa in the last one year.

“Tanya has made her first steps into the circuit young. When I enquired about her progress with some coaches in the Gopichand Academy, I was told she has the talent to go far. That is why I am minutely monitoring her progress. One has to be alert,” confessed Narahar.

“Developing players was one aspect discussed during the AGM; developing coaches was the other and we were assured by Gopichand that he would be drawing a plan for the development of coaches in India,” said Narahar.

“Goa has just two coaches and many centers are being developed to further the game. We not only need new coaches but coaches available need to be abreast of the latest techniques being adopted for coaching. It is only when coaches are up to date that we can expect good players,” explained Narahar.

“If the government in Goa is ready to give us a dedicated facility in Goa for badminton, BAI is ready to spend on getting international and national coaches to Goa. It was not difficult to convince BAI of setting a centre in Goa because it is a destination loved by all,” added Narahar.

GBA will be hosting the West Zone Badminton championship in Goa and the tournament allocated will help as a curtain raiser to the organisers of the National Games. The GBA calendar for the 2019 season has been finalised with eleven tournaments being conducted. “There will also be sub junior, junior and veteran league matches,” disclosed Narahar.

“I would request any one directly or indirectly involved with badminton to ink their ideas and come and discuss the same with us. I am ready to listen and discuss any suggestion because that is the only way forward,” concluded Narahar.

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