ISA celebrates 15 years of excellence

On Friday, it was a moment of celebration for the squash fraternity as the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) completed 15 years of existence nay excellence at the ISA awards function in Chennai.

N. Ramachandran (left), president, IOA felicitating Major S. Maniam (middle). Injeti Srinivas (right) stands alongside.   -  R. Ragu

At the turn of the millennium, what started as a modest three-court Academy has now grown into an institution with eight glass courts. On Friday, it was a moment of celebration for the squash fraternity as the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) completed 15 years of existence nay excellence at the ISA awards function here.

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“For long”, said N. Ramachandran, Patron of Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and President of World Squash Federation, “squash remained a domain of clubs. And earlier the gateway to Indian squash was Maharashtra and now it is Chennai.”

Ramachandran credited the success of ISA to “a team effort” comprising players, parents backed by coaches led by Maj. S. Maniam (SRFI Consultant Coach), Cyrus Poncha (National coach) among many others (past and present). To have 62 National champions in various categories, according to him, was no mean feat. “I want a World champion (from ISA),” he added.

Praising Maniam, whose 14-year term as SRFI’s Consultant Coach comes to an end in June this year, Ramachandran said “Maniam and his team have done a wonderful job. They have put a structured systematic training in place and have conducted Level-I, II & III coaches and referees clinic.”

Debendranath Sarangi, President of SRFI “said what started in a small innocuous way has become a giant”. Terming ISA’s achievements as remarkable, he said it should look for more victories at the highest level. “Completion of 15 years is a speck in any institution, but what ISA has achieved (in that time) is humongous,” he said.

Injeti Srinivas, Director General of SAI, the chief guest of the function, said he could feel a strong sense of ownership in the hall. “That speaks a lot about the culture and philosophy of ISA,” he said.