Coaches to accompany senior players on Tour

"The recommendation of Dipika Pallikal for the need of a coach when going abroad during PSA tournaments has been accepted by the SRFI," N. Ramachandran said.

Squash. Ramachandran, Velavan,

Indian Squash Academy Patron N Ramachandran (center) felicitating British Open gold medalist Velavan (left) and silver medalist Abhay (right), at a function in Chennai.   -  K.V. Srinivasan

Indian squash got a huge boost recently in the British Junior Open where the Indian boys bagged all three medals on offer in the under-19 category. Trying to build on that success the SRFI announced on Thursday that it will be sending a coach along with senior players during PSA events.

Speaking at a function to felicitate the three medallists - Velavan Senthilkumar, Abhay Singh and Adhitya Raghavan - IOA President and patron of the SRFI, N. Ramachandran said, “The recommendation of Dipika Pallikal for the need of a coach when going abroad during PSA tournaments has been accepted by the SRFI, subject to the Governement of India’s sanction. The coaches who will accompany will be decided by the national coach and international coach Ashraf El Karargui.”

Ramachandran added that he would like to see the youngsters not shift base to the U.S. for college saying, “We have a very good junior team. There is enough in the sport here and enough in terms of education in India. SRFI will give every possible assistance for a senior player who is on the professional tour.”

Considered one the prestigious event in the Squash calendar, India became only the second country after Egypt to win all three medals with Velavan winning the title beating Abhay Singh in the final. The medallists were felicitated by SRFI president Debendranath Sarangi and N. Ramachandran.

Chennai will host the Asian Senior Championships in April this year and national coach Cyrus Poncha said that there are plans to have the event in the Express Avenue mall to take the sport to the masses.