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Do you love badminton and are you a big fan of Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand and Saina Nehwal? There are several training academies in Delhi that can help hone your skills and make you an ace shuttler, reports Jeevan Prakash Sharma

education Updated: Sep 11, 2012 17:47 IST
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Hindustan Times

United Shuttlers Badminton Academy

Venue: Yamuna Sports Complex, Surajmal Vihar, east Delhi
Senior Coach: Ajay Kanwar and Manjusha Kanwar
Fee: Rs. 1500 (for member) and R2000 (for non members)
Timings: 3pm to 9pm Entry age: 6 years
Contact person: Vasudha Singh - 9810431128

Started in October 2011 by the badminton player couple Ajay and Manjusha Kanwar, this is the only academy in north India which is affiliated to the Hyderabad-based Gopi Chand Academy.

While Ajay Kanwar participated in the Thomas Cup, World Badminton Championship, Asian Championship and many international open tournaments before quitting in 1994, Manjusha has many titles under her belt, including a silver medal in the mixed doubles category at the 2004 South Asian Games. “Gopichand, who is today busy coaching Saina Nehwal, wanted to start an academy in north India but didn’t have enough time. Since we both played many international matches together, last year he decided to affiliate with us,” says Usha Rani, who runs the academy.

Besides the Kanwar couple, there are six coaches at the academy who have been players of national and international repute. The academy has 180 students who get training in various categories from Tuesday to Saturday.

MV Bisht Academy

Venue: DDA Sports Complex, Siri Fort, August Kranti Marg
Senior Coach: Madhumita Bisht and Vikram Bisht
Fee: Rs. 3000
Timings: 3pm to 6pm
Entry age: 7 years
Contact person: Vikram Singh Bisht - 9818184787

Before she turned to coaching in 2002, Madhumita Bisht was a famous badminton player who, besides being a national champion several times, won a bronze medal at the Asian games in 1982. She was in the core group of national coaches who coached the Indian badminton team for the ongoing London Olympics.

She opened the Madhumita Vikram Bisht Academy with her husband Vikram Bisht, a bronze medallist in badminton at the 1982 Asian Games. The Academy has three centres - DDA Sports Complex, Siri Fort and Saket and Air Force Bal Bharti School, Lodhi Road.

“We have six courts at Siri Fort, four at Saket and three at Air force Bal Bharti School. We have 130 students among whom some like Bhaskar Chakravorti and Harshwardhan Bisht are really promising,” says Vikram Bisht. This academy envisages to make a substantial contribution to the cause of badminton in India.

SAI’s Badminton Training Centre

Venue: Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, ITO
Senior Coach: P P Singh
Fee: Rs. 100 (for govt school boys and girls) Rs. 300 for others
Timings: 7 am to 10.30am and 3.30pm to 7.30pm
Entry age: 8 years
Contact person: IGI Stadium - 01123392729, PP Singh - 01122729973

The centre is run by the Sports Authority of India under the ministry of sports, government of India. Started right after the 1982 Asian Games it has produced many national and international level players. There are four experienced coaches, including chief coach PP Singh, who joined in 1995.

The low coaching fees of this centre has attracted over 800 students who share 10 training courts. One student who comes for regular coaching, says, “because of the number of students the coaches are finding it extremely challenging to discover the ones with real potential and train them.”

As this training centre runs per the government’s ‘come and play’ scheme, anyone above the age of 8 is eligible to enroll for training.

Delhi Govt’s Badminton Training Centre

Venue: Thyagaraj Sports Complex, INA Colony and Ludlow Castle Sports Complex, Shamnath Marg
Senior Coach/owner: Vikas Kumar Sharma and Ashwini Kumar
Fee: No fee
Timings: 2pm to 7pm
Entry age: 6 years
Contact person: Vikas Kumar Sharma - 9873550555

The sports wing of the directorate of education of the Delhi government runs two badminton training centres - Thyagaraj Sports Complex and Ludlow Castle Sports Complex - for schoolchildren.

“The two centers are running under the Delhi government’s sports promotion scheme. We conduct a trial and select candidates based on their basic skills. We don’t charge any fee. Each child gets shuttles free of cost,” says Vikas Kumar Sharma, a qualified coach from National Institute of Sports, Patiala.

While Thyagaraj Sports Complex has six courts, Ludlow Castle Sports Complex provides four courts for training. Admission is restricted only for Delhi schools students.

Surjit Singh Badminton Academy

Venue: DDA Sports Complex, Pitampura
Chief coach: Surjit Singh
Fee: Rs. 2000 (for non-members) and Rs. 1500 (for members)
Timings: 3 pm to 5.30pm
Entry age: 5 years
Contact person: Surjit Singh - 9811213770 , Tanvir Gill - 9711259375

After serving the Sports Authority of India as a senior coach for several years, Surjit Singh started his own academy in 2005. Though the academy is only seven years old, it has managed to produce players who have earned laurels at both at the national and international levels.

The Academy has a total of 60 candidates out of which 15 to 20 have been playing international-level matches. Besides Singh, the academy has three other coaches - Mohita Sahdev, Tanveer Gill and Pawan Kumar. “We have divided the students into various groups according to their age and calibre and are training them accordingly. While Mohita and Tanveer, who are still playing international competitions, coach senior players, Pawan imparts training to the young people. We have three well-equipped courts which are fairly sufficient for our training requirements,” informs Singh.

Ardor Badminton Academy (ABA)

Venue: DDA Sports Complex Rohini and Roshnara Club Pvt. Ltd, Roshnara Road
Chief coach/director: Arun Khurana
Fee: Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500, depending on the training centre
Timings: 11 am to 2 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm
Entry age: 8 years
Contact person: Arun Khurana - 9811870511

With an aim to motivate more children to play badminton, Arun Khurana started Ardor Badminton Academy in June 2011. Before that he worked as a badminton coach in the sports branch of the directorate of education, Delhi administration, from November 2004 to April 2011.

“We have three other experienced coaches besides me who focus on intense training, including periodic visits by nutrition experts, yoga experts, physiotherapists and counsellors. We use sports as an instrument for developing values, team work, building communication and leadership skills,” says Khurana. The academy, which currently has 38 students, has four courts. “We have a bunch of promising students many of whom have managed to get admission to prestigious DU colleges in the sports quota,” says Khurana.

DK Academy

Venue: DDA Sports Complex, Siri Fort
Chief coach/owner: Dinesh Khanna
Fee: Rs. 1600 (for members) and Rs. 2200 (for non-members)
Timings: 3.30pm to 5.30pm
Entry age : 5 years
Contact person: Dinesh Khanna - 9871054234

India’s glory at international badminton tournaments can be traced back to the 1960s when players like Dinesh Khanna were ruling the courts. He was the first Indian to fetch a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. He also won the first Asian Championship in 1965.

“I played for the country for 15 years from 1961 to 1976 and today my only aim of running an academy is to share my experience with the children who are aspiring to become international players. I have three well-qualified coaches who are training around 60 students,” says Khanna, who was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1965 for his contribution to Indian sports.

“As far as infrastructure is concerned, DDA’s Siri Fort complex has four air-conditioned badminton courts which are quite good for summer training. During the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the same courts were used by international players for the purpose of practise. Its heartening to see the kind of promise that the budding players of my academy demonstrate,” says Khanna.

DDA Sports Complex, Dwarka

Venue: Sector 11, Dwarka
Chief coach: S P Singh
Fee: Rs. 800 (for members) and Rs. 1600 (for non-members)
Timings: 3 pm to 5.30pm
Entry age: 5 years
Contact person: S P Singh - 9910032782

Started in 2011 by S P Singh, who has been associated with badminton for the last 40 years (first as a player and later as a coach), this training centre has been popular among professional and amateur players alike. Singh was the secretary of the Delhi Badminton Association immediately before opening the academy .

“I remained the Delhi state champion for ten years before I quit playing in 1985 and started coaching young players. I have trained the Delhi state team for several years,” says Singh.

There are a total of four badminton courts in this complex, which have 60 students practising in various shifts from Tuesday to Saturday. Under a DDA scheme, children from economically weaker sections are admitted free of cost. “I have a mixed bag of students. Some are extremely promising while some take badminton as a hobby,” says Singh.

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