Players demand opening of badminton academies for training in Hyderabad

The sports fraternity is baffled by the logic of opening malls, restaurants and liquor shops while keeping the Badminton Academies closed.

Badminton Academies are yet to open for training in Hyderabad. (Representative Image).   -  K. Murali Kumar

India’s chief national badminton coach P. Gopi Chand is keeping his fingers crossed on the subject of re-opening his two Academies here.

World championship bronze medallist B. Sai Praneeth says he just can’t wait for too long now to start training.

With the State Government in no mood to let the sports complexes and academies re-open in view of the growing number of Covid-19 positive cases, especially in the State capital, the lead athletes are clearly a worried lot.

“Three months of absolutely no training is no joke. With many of our fellow players starting training in a few States, Telangana government should at least allow us train,” one of the shuttlers from the city said.

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The sports fraternity’s logic is pretty simple: when malls, restaurants and liquor shops can be opened what stops the authorities from allowing Academies to begin training sessions?

Meanwhile, representatives of about 10 badminton academies in Hyderabad wrote a letter two weeks ago to the Telangana Sports Minister V. Srinivas Goud suggesting “that sports and other sports activities build immunity, especially during the current crisis” . They haven’t received a response yet.

“The current lockdown has also affected the livelihood of thousands of support staff including coaches and hence we appeal to you to consider reopening at least the Academies, if not the Stadium complexes,” it is mentioned in the representation.

“For a State which has always been in the forefront of promoting sports in a big way, we request you to allow badminton activity which is possible by following all the Covid-19 guidelines,” they said.

“There will be no body contact, the players bring their own equipment, all the venues will be sanitised completely and no spectators will be allowed as per the norms,” they said.

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In fact, one Olympian suggested that instead of sticking to only 10 athletes for session, the number can be decided proportionately to the area of training available as that will be more practical and helpful to athletes.

“Whatever be the case, with Olympics scheduled next year as of now, we just cannot to keep missing the training schedule for too long. Someone has to take the lead,” another shuttler, who is in the race for the Games, opined.

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