Pullela Gopichand, former badminton ace and the coach of Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu is set to begin coaching classes at the Greater Noida branch of his academy on March 3. The academy is being set up in the Greater Noida stadium.
The Greater Noida authority, on July 21, 2016, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the national badminton coach and Dronacharya Award winner for badminton training in the city.
Following PV Sindhu’s silver medal in badminton at the Olympic Games in October 2016, the sport gained popularity across the country. Parents are thronging the Greater Noida stadium to admit their children to badminton coaching.
“We have made all necessary arrangements to welcome Gopichand. The opening of his academy is a big step for children who want to make it big in badminton. Gopichand will perform a 30-minute prayer before beginning an interaction with children,” Rajiv Tyagi, general manager of the Greater Noida authority, said.
After an interaction with the children, the badminton coach will start a one-hour training session for the 100 children who are enrolled in the first batch.
Admission to the academy is granted only after few initial tests. “Children are being selected through tests. Only those who are promising will make it to the training course (by Gopichand),” a sports official at the academy said.
Interested children and their parents from Noida, Greater Noida, Delhi, Ghaziabad and other Uttar Pradesh towns are eagerly waiting for the badminton academy to get underway. The academy will charge Rs5,000 as monthly fees for coaching.
“An underprivileged parent has come down from Banda to Greater Noida so that he can get his two children trained by Gopichand. We are getting calls from across cities in UP but only those who are talented will be selected,” Tyagi said.
PV Sindhu is also likely to visit the academy on March 15. “She was supposed to be present for the opening ceremony, but she is currently touring England and will visit later,” Tyagi said.