Badminton Academy on the anvil: Verma

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Pune, Jun 21 (UNI) Badminton Association of India (BAI) president Vikram Verma today said though the feasibility of having an academy in Pune, the birthplace of the shuttle game, had been mooted long ago, the project would soon see the light of the day with the state government showing robust interest in it.

Pune was the first to host the Indian open prize money tournament in 1981 at the Western Indian Errectors Badminton complex as it was then known. The Indian ace Prakash Padukone scripted the triumph over the Chinese ace Han Jian.

With the hosting of the World Junior championship, the second biggest international badminton event, immediately after the conduct of the third 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in October, the city has been catapulted as the major training centre for Olympic disciplines of sports including hockey.

The championship will get underway at the world class ultra-modern badminton court at the Shiv Chhatarapati Sports City Mahalunge-Balewadi, near here.

The centre and the academy to come up will have a foreign coach and would be funded by the state exchequer.

Verma, who was in the city in connection with the formal launch of the World Junior championship, organised by IOA president Suresh Kalmadi, said the BAI has sought the services of Indonesian coach Hadi Idriswho, who is currently in Delhi. It added that a camp for the CYG probables at Panchkula in Haryana was also conducted in April-May.

Verma will be proceeding to Hyderabad to conduct clinics at the Indian coach Pullela Gopichand academy.

Since the Centre has already decided to pay 4,500 dollars in hiring the services of foreign coaches, the Indonesian coach will remain in the country till the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be held in New Delhi, the BAI president added.

BAI secretary L C Gupta, accompanying the president, said the Centre had initially cleared the sanction of two foreign coaches.

However, the santion for getting the Chinese coach for the doubles event, was delayed and the coach also took up another assignment.

''Efforts are now afoot to get another Chinese coach soon,'' he said.

The BAI has already planned a month-long coaching camp in Pune starting from September 10 and the apex body has chalked up strict guidelines, making it mandatory for players to attend the camp, Gupta added.

The tenth edition of the World Junior Badminton championship is expected to have total of 500 players from 50 countries in the team and individual events. The team event will be held from October 24 to 27, followed by the individual events from October 29 to November 2.

UNI IS SSS RAI2343

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