Bhubaneswar: In a major boost for state’s budding shuttlers, Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation (PGMF) signed Friday a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Odisha government at the Secretariat here with an aim to nurture and groom talents in the state.
The MoU was signed between the Sports and Youth Services Department and PGMF in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, sports minister Chandra Sarathi Behera, Pullela Gopichand and sports secretary Vishal Dev.
The initiative will help in thrusting Odisha in the forefront of developing world-class talent for Badminton among other sporting disciplines in the state. The PGMF will be driving the badminton academy in Odisha and will be responsible for providing technical support and the overall development of the sport in the state.
Gopichand, who is the coach of top-ranked shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, said that it will help the state produce and nurture the players from grassroot level.
“It is an honour for us to be associated with the Govt of Odisha and we are aligned to their vision to keep producing world-class talent,” said the Olympian.
“The trajectory of Badminton as a sport in India has hit new highs in the recent past, with top India players winning major honours at regular intervals. The academy (in Odisha) will help in keeping the momentum up, and we hope to nurture great talent right from the grass roots to the international levels,” stated Gopichand.
Commenting on the association, Naveen said that the initiative will help the state groom and nurture world-class talents. “Badminton is one of the focus areas in sports for Odisha. Under the tutelage and guidance of PGMF, I am confident that we will be able to nurture and groom world-class talents of the future. I want Odisha to win Olympic Medals for India, and we are all committed to make this into a reality.”
The 44-year-old Gopichand also inaugurated a coffee table book on Asian Athletics Championships, which was hosted by the city last year.