Joy T. Antony, the medicine for every shuttler amid COVID-19

Badminton coach Joy plans to conduct a series of tournaments at the Regional Sports Centre in Kochi where he trains a promising bunch of players.

A former multiple state singles silver medallist, Joy has been playing tournaments for the last 30 years.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

With no clarity on resumption of tournaments, it is a difficult period for sportspersons. But Joy T. Antony is trying out something which could brush away badminton players' anxiety.

Joy, an Indian team coach at the under-17 and under-15 junior Asians in Indonesia in December, plans to conduct a series of tournaments at the Regional Sports Centre in Kochi where he trains a promising bunch of players.

“I'm planning to have tournaments between our academy players once a month. That will keep the players, especially the juniors, motivated. We will try to give them small prizes too,” said Joy, an Olympic Gold Quest coach who has been trained by greats like Prakash Padukone and Morten Frost, in a chat with Sportstar on Saturday.

Joy's bunch, which now includes a few national campers and even players from the Gopichand academy (Hyderabad) and Prakash Padukone centre (Bengaluru) as many of them are now unable to return to their base, resumed training after the coronavirus lockdown a month ago.

READ| N. Sikki Reddy: Coronavirus will have no bearing on future tournaments

He is happy to note that all the fitness training he had made them to do, and supervised online, during the lockdown is bearing rewards.

“Their fitness level is good but to bring them back to normal on-court shape, to get proper racquet contact, it will take about two weeks. And a month to get back to full shape,” said Joy, a former senior Worlds bronze medallist (above-40 years) who has been the Kerala team coach the last few years.

Son of prominent chemistry professor T.C. Antony, Joy stayed close to former international Vimal Kumar's house in Thiruvananthapuram. They were family friends too.

“And Vimal's brother, Vinod, introduced me to professional badminton,” said the 45-year-old who is employed with the Cochin Port Trust in the sports section.

ALSO READ| Players demand opening of badminton academies for training in Hyderabad

A former multiple state singles silver medallist, Joy has been playing tournaments for the last 30 years. And it is this supreme fitness that he is trying to transfer to his trainees.

He is active in the national-ranking circuit even now.

“Since I'm training the elite players and play with them, it helps me maintain my competitive standard. It helps my form,” he said.

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