Saina joins Academy to Mentor Youngsters

Update: 2023-10-12 18:20 GMT
Vijay Lancy (from left), Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap and RMV Gurusai Dutt pose at the launch of Badminton Pros Academy in Hyderabad. (Image:DC)

Hyderabad: London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal admitted she is not in the best shape to win tournaments.

“Playing is very easy. I can play tomorrow also, but the condition of body is very important. I have a problem in my knee cartilage. When I train intensively or when I push hard, it swells a lot and gets me into big trouble. So, I am trying my level best to manage the load. If you want to beat players like, An Se-young, Tai Tzu Ying and Akane Yamaguchi, you have to train for six to seven hours a day. If you want to see me winning and playing consistently my body has to be 100 per cent fit,” the 33-year-old Saina said at the launch of Badminton Pros, a premier badminton coaching academy, of which she has been appointed mentor.

Despite her lean patch Saina was happy about her-self for inspiring many youngsters to pick badminton.

“When I started playing badminton, it was fun for me. We never thought of playing in the international circuit. We used to focus on domestic events only. But training under Gopi sir (Pullela Gopichand), who nurtured me at a young age, helped me to achieve success among women shuttlers. Prakash (Padukone) sir and Gopi sir (Chand) won tournaments in the men's section but there were none in the women's side. What Sindhu and I have achieved has inspired many youngsters and built a self-belief among the Indian women shuttlers,” Saina said.

Saina will be joined by her husband and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap and CWG bronze medallist RMV Gurusai Dutt to monitor the players’ development, helping them build mental fortitude and excel in their game-play.

“My job as a mentor is to give advice to the players. I give them advice based on my career experience and how I became a champion,” she said, adding that she is not looking at full-time coaching.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the sport, which has given me so much. I sought to collaborate with like-minded, passionate individuals who possess a deep understanding of badminton and uphold the highest professional standards. I was genuinely impressed by the methodical approach taken in coaching prospective talent and nurturing their progress,” the ace shuttler added.


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