Prakash Padukone, NSCI launch badminton coaching programme in Mumbai

The programme is a partnership between Padukone Sports Management and the National Sports Club of India (NSCI).

Prakash Padukone at the launch of the badminton coaching programme at the NSCI on Tuesday.   -  EMMANUAL YOGINI

Badminton legend Prakash Padukone launched a coaching programme here on Tuesday.

The programme is a partnership between Padukone Sports Management and the National Sports Club of India (NSCI), and after inaugurating the coaching and playing facility, Padukone said: "Initially we will start off with three levels of coaching, which is the beginner, intermediate and advance and then the main aim of PSM is to standardise coaching across centres.”

"We have already started a coach education programme and we have trained more than 450 coaches, both online and offline in the last two years," he added.

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Asked whether they would take any help from former players like Pradeep Gandhe - who was present for the event - Padukone said: “We will definitely make use of all the ex-players also, depending on the availability of their time. We will have our own coaches but we definitely move on to have an advisory panel, because Pradeep (Gandhe) has been a member here for a long -time, so we will definitely use his expertise also going forward." NSCI secretary Maru, on his part, said, "...we have partnered with the PSM to give the great platform for coaching, so that is the vision."

Atul Maru, the secretary at NSCI said, “This promises to be the first step in our quest to occupy pride of place in the badminton world. Infrastructure, tournaments and top-rated training programs will form the fulcrum, to reach our vision of occupying centre stage at badminton in the years to come and in tandem with PSM our goals will be fulfilled soon and we can then be proud of taking Indian badminton to greater heights.”

The key focus areas at the Padukone Sports Management academy in Mumbai will be on making badminton training more standardised and arming it with technology.

Padukone bats for India-Pakistan T20 World Cup fixture

Padukone believes the upcoming India-Pakistan clash in the T20 World Cup should go ahead despite the prevailing tension between the two countries.

"I personally feel sports should not be mixed with politics and it should go ahead, that is my personal opinion, whether it happens or not, I am no authority, I am nobody to comment," Padukone said on the sidelines of the launch event.

"But if you ask my personal opinion, I think the match should go ahead, they have played in the past, so many times, so this is no different," he added.

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