India’s decorated doubles player Jwala Gutta officially launched the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence in a glittering ceremony at New Delhi on Tuesday.
The state-of-the-art complex which will have training facilities for various sports, including cricket, badminton and swimming, is based in Hyderabad and will be operational next month.
“India is huge country and we just have Saina and Sindhu, so I believe we need more players. With the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence, I will strive to inculcate discipline in those who are willing to learn and work towards making them good and contributing members of society,” said Jwala, with her father Kranti Gutta by her side.
The Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence, which is built on a 55 acre land, comprises 14 courts and a seating capacity of over 600 people. It is located in the outskirts of Hyderabad in Sujatha High School, Gachibowli.
Other facilities include a world-class gym and a yoga center to provide athletes with a one-stop destination for all necessities.
Jwala said she has approached the Sports Ministry for its support.
“I have approached the Sports Ministry. I meet Mr Kiren Rijiju. He was welcoming of my idea and I hope I will get support from govt,” she said.
Hyderabad already boosts of the Pullela Gopichand academy, which has emerged as the epicentre of Indian badminton over the years.
“We haven’t taken support from anybody. I did on my own. We need more academies, so more healthy competitions means more medals,” she said.
“I’m hoping it gives me more muscle power so that I have better say.”
Jwala said she is in the process of finalising the coaching panel which will be headed by former national coach and Dronacharya awardee S M Arif.
“I am going through a few resume now. I will interview the coaches. We will appoint two foreign coaches. I will need at least 10 coaches for 14 courts, so I am looking for Indian coaches,” she said.
“We are also going to announce a six month diploma course for coaches from our academy.”
Asked how does she see her role in the Academy, Jwala said: “I can’t pretend to be a coach. I have not learn coaching. So my role is to mentor and be the middle person, I am the bridge to players, coaches and parents.”
Beijing bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh, double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, MP and former Union Minister, were also present during the ceremony.