AFC to tie up with Ramachandra for Centre of Excellence in Chennai

A team from the Asian Football Confederation will visit CSS next month to inspect the facilities.

CSS is on the verge of being named a Centre of Excellence by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).   -  B.Velankanni Raj

Sri Ramachandra’s Centre for Sports Sciences (CSS) first made news for its state-of-the-art biomechanical facility to correct bowling action. It has now branched into various other sports.

So much so that CSS is on the verge of being named a Centre of Excellence by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Breaking the news to Sportstar, Dr. S. Arumugam, Director, CSS, said, “A team from AFC will visit CSS next month to inspect the facilities. Informally, the AFC has already agreed. If it happens it will be the first such centre in the country.”

Arumugam said, “We have a football ground that is in accordance with FIFA guidelines in the campus. Then we have a bio-mechanical facility for footballers, accommodation, gym, training facilities that include high altitude simulation, and a swimming pool.”

He added, “Eventually our aim is to be adjudged a Centre of Excellence by FIFA.”

Chennaiyin FC, the reigning ISL champion, is not just training at CSS but the entire squad is staying at the Sri Ramachandra campus this season.

Arumugam said, “They did various routines with us last year and emerged as the fittest side in ISL. This year they have decided to stay here. The campus is self-contained, it’s like a sports village.”

State-of-the-art infrastructure

Chennaiyin FC, the reigning ISL champion, is not just training at CSS but the entire squad is staying at the Sri Ramachandra campus this season.   -  B.Velankanni Raj

 

Talking about biomechanics in football, Arumugam said, “It is particularly useful while taking free-kicks and penalties. Aspects such as the pressure on the ball, point and angle of contact are extremely important.”

He explained, “To help footballers, vicon 3D motion capture cameras are used. High-speed video cameras and wireless EMG are also employed.”

CSS has a 600m rowing course under floodlights that has staged sub-junior Nationals. The training camps for the Indian sub-junior team are held here.

And three Olympic rowers, Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal and Dushyant Chauhan, medallists at the Asian Games, underwent rehab and recovery programme at CSS.

Omega water therapy was used. Brainwaves and heart beats were monitored.

Branching into different sports

"Informally, the AFC has already agreed. If it happens it will be the first such centre in the country," Dr. S. Arumugam, Director, CSS, said.   -  B.Velankanni Raj

 

In shooting, CSS has a tie-up with Olympic bronze medallist Gagan Narang’s Academy. “We have a 25m and 50m indoor shooting range. Elavenil Valarivan, who trains here, won a gold at the junior World Cup,” said Arumugam.

He elaborated, “Shooting is a highly technical sport where you have to shoot between your heartbeats. Otherwise, there could be a slight shake.”

Force plates that measure the ground reaction forces are used to make the right shoes for the shooters, providing them maximum stability and balance.       

In sailing, Asian Games bronze medallists Varun Thakkar and K.C. Ganapathy underwent strength and conditioning and rehab at CSS.

Impressive fencer Bhavani Devi trains at CSS’s high-performance centre. “We have developed an app through which we can monitor the performances of athletes even when they travel,” said Arumugam.

And as part of its Khelo India programme, the Indian government has selected CSS as one of the centres for three disciplines, rowing, shooting and weightlifting. “We want to produce an Olympic gold winner,” said Arumugam.

CSS has a programme for basketballers with former Indian captain C.V. Sunny in charge of it. And the popular Tamil Thalaivas kabbadi side works out here.

In cricket, CSS continues to receive international and Indian bowlers for assessment of suspect action apart from having a tie-up with former Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore and the Kerala Ranji side.

Arumugam, however, said, “The facilities we have for cricket including the various practice pitches and indoor nets can be put to better use.”

The CSS wants to keep the tradition going; it conducts a training programme for sports scientists.