Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd has announced its CSR programme in sports in collaboration with the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation to develop a world class badminton training facility with advanced infrastructure and international-standard coaches.
The programme entails construction of a high-performance training centre comprising six air-conditioned badminton courts and a Sports Science Centre at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.
This Centre would get resident nutritionists, physiotherapists and strength and conditioning experts for the all-round development of players and to ensure that the coaching imparted was at par with global standards.
Kotak will also support the Coach Certification and Fellowship programmes for coaches and players.
Under the Coach Certification Programme, the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy will impart training and award certification to yesteryear sportspersons to expand the reach of badminton training across the country.
After announcing the launch of the initiative, Kotak Mahindra Bank Joint Managing Director Dipak Gupta said “Encouraged by Gopichand’s commitment and his long-term singular focus on badminton in producing world-class badminton players, we are announcing Kotak’s CSR Programme in sports, which we will jointly implement with the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation.”
Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said that access to quality infrastructure training and coaching facilities is a must for India to consistently produce world-class athletes and be counted among the great sporting nations.
He said “players compete in air-conditioned courts internationally and we wanted air-conditioned courts at the Academy”, which currently has 17 non-air conditioned courts.
A Sports Science Centre with the best facilities will come up so that players’ injuries and their development on the physical and mental side can be taken care of, he said, adding that the research and development arm will have things like sports analysis, video analysis and to put in place different aspects systematically.
“The journey of players having reached the top, even in my opinion, we haven’t (been) documented the way it should be.
Indian badminton has about 15-20 players (top-100) and when we have these kind of numbers, it is important that we document and have the processes defined properly for the future.
We are looking at a Sports Science Centre which is very comprehensive,” Gopichand explained.
On coach development, Gopichand said there was a severe dearth of coaches in the country. The biggest challenge was producing the next generation of coaches, he said.
Gopichand said the sport has grown tremendously, the number of players had also grown, as also the infrastructure.
However, one area which had not grown much was of coaches and the idea was to produce coaches, he said, adding that the dependency today on foreign coaches was also a lot more.
“It is important that we organically grow our coaches and this (partnership) is a big step in that direction. Indian badminton has grown tremendously over the years and he believed this partnership would strengthen it “to ensure that we are able to sustain this growth over the next few years.”
“We have achieved a lot without these things in the past but I am sure with these additions I think we will have much more improvement and many more results for the future generation, Gopichand added.
To a query on investments on this initiative, Gupta said it could be ₹30-₹35 crore over a three-year period and going forward they are evaluating other sports also.