Eyes on 2020 Olympics, Indian coaches in Birmingham for tips

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Aug 22, 2016 23:37 IST
Indian coaches and sports scientists outside the school of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham. Rajdeep Kaur Talwar is pictured centre left. (Photo credit: University of Birmingham)

A group of Indian coaches and administrators has arrived at the University of Birmingham to learn how to combine coaching and sports science techniques in a range of disciplines, including gymnastics, athletics, hockey and swimming.

 The 25-member group includes former Olympian Anil Kumar Prakash, who holds the 100-metre national record and is now an athletics coach. The group will participate in a two-week programme put together by experts from the school of sport, exercise and rehabilitation sciences.

Besides coaches, the group put together by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) includes sports scientists specialising in nutrition, sports medicine and physiology. It is led by Rajdeep Kaur Talwar, dean of the faculty of sports sciences at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.

The visit follows discussions between the university’s Martin Toms and India’s sports ministry and SAI on how the varsity could contribute to India’s athletes boosting their performance.

 Toms said: “We’re delighted to welcome our sporting guests to Birmingham. Everyone is looking forward to sharing our expertise with them and learning from their wealth of experience. Together we hope to make a significant contribution to improving performance across Indian sport.”

The programme will see Birmingham experts sharing the latest thinking in a range of areas, including nutrition, psychology, performance analysis and injury rehabilitation.

There will also be visits to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, Birmingham City FC and the Football Association headquarters at St George’s Park, Burton-on-Trent.

Boxing coach Abishek Malviya at the University of Birmingham testing an anti-gravity treadmill, as used by Olympic athletes such as Mo Farrah and Paula Radcliffe to speed rehabilitation from injury. (Photo credit: University of Birmingham)

Karan Bilimoria, the university’s chancellor, said: “It is wonderful to hear that the University of Birmingham is working with India’s best coaches to boost athletes’ performance.  The UK and India have a long history of sharing expertise to our mutual benefit and I am pleased to see Birmingham continuing this tradition. 

“India is a country with undoubted sporting talent, and I am hopeful that this initiative will be instrumental in helping Indian athletes realise their full potential in future sporting events.” 

 Hockey coach Piyush Kumar Dubey said: “Congratulations to Team GB on an outstanding performance in winning gold in women’s hockey.  Indian hockey has a glorious history and our performances are improving. I hope the experts at Birmingham will help us achieve our goal of winning hockey medals at future Olympics.”

The Indian coaches in the group represent archery, athletics, volleyball, table tennis, handball, judo, football, badminton, boxing, kabaddi, swimming, hockey, gymnastics, tennis, and wrestling.

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