NEW DELHI: Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) has on Wednesday inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with current national badminton coach and Dronacharya award winner Pullela Gopichand at the Constitution Club, Delhi. With the signing of the agreement, a world class badminton academy will be set up at Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex in Greater Noida, whichhas been created at a cost of Rs 130 crores. According to GNIDA officials, this will be first such academy by Gopichand in North India. He already has academies at Gwalior, Vadodara and Hyderabad. The academy is likely to become operational by early October this year. "The academy will be housed in an area of about 30,000 square feet and will have 8 badminton courts," said Deepak Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, GNIDA. "The academy will focus on training young talent and ensuring their exposure to international coaches and players. It will also provide full support to young sports enthusiasts by providing them education and world-class facilities," he said. "The academy and all stakeholders involved, share the unified vision of developing the sport and producing future badminton champions from this academy. We firmly believe that the academy will contribute towards the societal, economic and cultural development of the region," he added. While speaking on the occasion, Gopichand said that his academy, managed by Sportzlive will be a centre of excellence to nurture the talent of the region. "It has always been my dream to see Indian badminton peak. There was a perception that only oriental people do well in badminton. Also once a corporate guy told me that badminton can't have enough eyeballs. I am happy to prove them wrong," Gopichand said. "This is my first academy in this part of the country and we look forward to promote the badminton culture here. This academy will be modelled on the excellence centre we have built in Hyderabad and over the next few years we expect talented players to emerge out of here too," he added.
The academy will have about 25 talented students in the age group 8-15 years to begin with. Preference will be given to the students from surrounding areas and other parts of UP. These students will be sponsored by the academy. The academy will have a head foreign coach and a host of Indian coaches to nurture the talent. The academy will use the methods and techniques, which have been tried and tested so far by Gopichand as well as methods that have evolved over the years of exposure to global badminton system.
The academy will also have a commercial academy which will train students from all walks of life including corporates for an annual fee and an Excellence centre which will focus on nurturing future champions.