Pullela Gopichand, R.B. Ramesh win Sportstar Aces 2020 Coach of the Year

Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and chess coach R. B. Ramesh were joint winners of the Coach of the Year title at the Sportstar Aces Awards on Monday.

Gopichand’s contributions to Indian sports is invaluable, having produced several notable shuttlers over the years at the Gopichand Badminton Academy. Ramesh’s wards Divya Deshmukh, R. Vaishali, Aravindh Chithambaram were among the medal winners during the calendar year.

Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and chess coach R. B. Ramesh were joint winners of the Coach of the Year title at the Sportstar Aces Awards on Monday. They beat Indian men’s cricket team coach Ravi Shastri and table tennis coach S. Raman to the prize.

Gopichand’s contributions to Indian sports is invaluable, having produced several notable shuttlers over the years at the Gopichand Badminton Academy.

After receiving the award, he said: "For me growing up I learned things from coaches and through trial and error methods. I had three knee surgeries before winning the All England title. Unfortunately for me, I had the formula to win but didn't have the body to use it as I got injured often. So I eventually pulled together all the badminton kids in Hyderabad and used that formula on them."

In the last year, his ward P. V. Sindhu won the biggest title in the calendar year when she won the gold medal at the BWF World Championships while his other protege Saina Nehwal won the Indonesia Masters.

Ramesh has been instrumental in bringing through several young international medal winners. Among his students, R. Praggnanandhaa, aged 14, won the world under-18 title, became the Xtracon Chess Champion and jointly won the London Chess Classic.

"I think in Indian sports for an aspiring player to improve, they look for foreign coaches and they go abroad. There was no one I could look up to during my playing days. So I gave a shot at coaching myself. My compatriots helped me as well. I thought I was better off as a coach than being a player. So I began training some young players," said Ramesh after receiving the award.

"IOCL had helped me when I was a player. The key to success is being clear about your priorities. We should keep focusing on learning. You should put in extra effort for efficient learning. I want to thank my mentor and my wife for this. Thanks to every other coach as well," he added.

Ramesh’s wards Divya Deshmukh, R. Vaishali, Aravindh Chithambaram were among the medal winners during the calendar year. Bharath Subramanium became an international master at the age of 11 years and eight months.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, chess ace Vishwanathan Anand, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M. M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian shuttler Aparna Popat selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.

The awards look to create a medium of knowledge and vision exchange as it brings all stakeholders of Indian sports under one roof.

You can watch the Sportstar Aces Awards telecast on Sony Ten 1 SD & HD on Sunday 26 January at 8 PM (IST).

1st Repeat : Monday 27 January at 6 PM, 2nd Repeat : Tuesday 28th January  at 7 PM