Olympic 2012 Bronze-medalist Saina Nehwal’s dreams of opening a badminton academy has started taking shape as the Himachal Pradesh Government gave her a green light to go ahead with her plan.
The Himachal Pradesh State Sports department has allocated her a piece of land, stretching over six and a half acres, in Dharamsala for setting up the academy.
Opening a badminton academy in India had been a long term dream for Nehwal and her husband Parupalli Kashyap, who is a badminton player as well.
Nehwal had submitted a plea to Himachal Pradesh governor Bandatu Dattatreya that an academy in North India could help immensely in providing high quality training to those aspiring to he world-class badminton players.
Right now, there are two prominent badminton academies in India. One is the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad and the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru. However, both of these academies are in the southern part of the country and hence, not easily accessible for those living in North India.
That wasn’t the only reason why Nehwal and Kashyap picked Dharamsala as the location for their Academy. The altitude of the city played an important part in their decision making too. Such a location could help them immensely in providing the players with high-altitude training. That would help the players to prepare better for overseas tournaments, most of which are held in similar conditions. Practicing in these conditions will help the players in adapting with alien conditions better.
India will have yet another badminton training facility run by a shuttler if Nehwal’s academy comes into being soon enough.
Prakash Padukone was one of the first former players to open his own academy and Pullela Gopichand, who is currently the Indian coach as well, followed soon. And now, Jwala Gutta has also followed in their footsteps as she also opened up her own academy — the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence — in Hyderabad, last month.