Hyderabad, Nov 24 (IANS) The Sports Authority of India (SAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with badminton coach Pullela Gopichand to establish a SAI Gopichand National Badminton Academy here on Tuesday.
The academy is being established for optional utilisation of the facilities being developed with National Sports Development Fund assistance at PGBF. SAI shall also utilise the facilities at the academy for national training camps, competitions, etc, according to a release.
The academy will select 50 shuttlers in a nationwide talent search scheme for induction in the age group of 11 to 14 years. SAI will depute coaches from SAI and other government organisations like Railways, Oil & Natural Gas (ONGC) and other central government or State PSUs.
SAI director general Injeti Srinivas welcomed this joint initiative and stated that it would serve as a role model to professionalise sports coaching in the country.
Gopichand, All England champion in 2001, expressed great satisfaction that this could help in institutionalising the present collaboration between SAI and his own efforts as a promoter of the sport.
The Badminton Authority of India (BAI) will be closely involved in the academy.