Jwala Gutta is on a sabbatical. Not from the badminton. Neither from the court. Only from competitive badminton.
The doubles icon is busy preparing for her next innings. Assessing her next role. Her next career goals. As all is moving on expected lines for Jwala, she is set for the next big announcement. Jwala will soon make a formal announcement about her retirement from competitive badminton.
The champion who was never shy of conflicts during her playing days will never ever like to have a conflict of interest as her new avatar as a coach. Top officials in the Badminton Association of India have been made aware of Jwala’s plans. “She (Jwala) is waiting for an opportune moment to formally announce her retirement. Everybody (in the BAI) knows about this,” said a veteran administrator from the association. “She was among the best doubles players in the country. She can also be a very good coach for doubles. Wait and watch. You can also see her as the next doubles coach.”
Jwala is setting up a “world class” badminton academy in Hyderabad. The academy will scout talent from across the country to produce world champions. The goals are bigger. Jwala will be primarily engaged with developing coaching programmes and training the trainers. “More than anything, I see myself as a mentor. I don’t think I will be able to coach. Coaching requires a lot of deeper understanding. Looking into technicalities and psychology of every child. So, the panel of coaches will do coaching. And I will be a mentor. I know where we lack, and I’ve been through all the hurdles. My main aim is to reduce those hurdles,” Jwala had told InsideSport in an exclusive interview.
Her future plans are ambitious and commitment more than 100%. It will be a full time occupation for Jwala the coach. The mentor. “We are aiming to set up (academies) in 2-tier and 3-tier cities as well. We will try to analyse the performance and make it an easy sport for the deserving. I myself will be mentoring children and coaches. I will handle the entire administrative task and will also suggest panel of coaches. And we will carry a talent-scouting program 365 days. We will try to acquire as much talent as we can. And then bring the deserving talent to our Centre of Excellence and will also sponsor them,” Jwala had told InsideSport about her plans.
Commonwealth Games 2010 Gold medallists’ Wikipedia profile already shows her as a “retired” player. For Jwala the announcement to hang her racquet is a mere formality now, which she will complete soon.