The Weekend Leader - India's top coaches come together to launch Gaudium Sportopia

India's top coaches come together to launch Gaudium Sportopia



 Top sports coaches came together today to celebrate the official launch of Gaudium Sportopia, the first-of-its-kind centre of excellence for sports in India.

On the sidelines of the official logo launch, the sporting luminaries discussed the roadmap to make India a sporting superpower in a unique conversation.

The key speakers at the panel discussion conceived and conducted by Gaudium Sportopia mentor Prasad Mangipudi, were India's chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin, table tennis coach Subramaniam Raman, chess guru RB Ramesh, along with Leo Bruno, Technical Director, NBA Basketball Schools India and Sean Jamison, Wanderers Sports Medical Centre, South Africa. The stalwarts emphasized how a sporting revolution has been brought about by the premier institution through an excellent merging of education and sports.

"Gaudium Sportopia was developed with the singular vision of exposing the promising talents to high-class coaching from a young age and we feel blessed and encouraged to see the tremendous support from some of India's best coaches and sportsmen who will groom the Champions of tomorrow," said Kirthi Reddy, Founder-Director of The Gaudium School and Gaudium Sportopia.

For Gaudium Sportopia, having all these eminent sports personalities come together to chart a clear cut path to creating champions, along with imparting education, is a role model in itself, said Prasad Mangipudi, Mentor, Gaudium Sportopia.

While laying out the roadmap, the 2001 All England Open champion, who is also the mentor of the Badminton Centre of Excellence at Gaudium Sportopia, stressed the importance of physical literacy.

"If alphabets, words and sentences are called literacy, we need to move beyond alphabets and numerals, and focus on physical literacy because we, as a nation, have come down physically," said Gopichand.

India's top cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin, Mentor - Cricket Centre of Excellence, harped on the importance of creating a sense of responsibility in children.

"In this era of gadgets, such a sporting revolution in schools is indeed a boon," said the Arjuna awardee.

Echoing what the coach of two Olympic medallists said, chess guru and mentor of the Chess Centre of Excellence, RB Ramesh congratulated the vision and its implementation, saying "we have already produced many Grandmasters in chess. Instead of looking for an ideal system, we need to make the best of what is available and such initiatives can become a great contributor to improving the sporting system."

Former four-time national champion and Arjuna awardee, Subramaniam Raman, who will be the Mentor of the Table Tennis Centre of Excellence, lauded the efforts of Gaudium Sportopia as an integrated facility and added that it is an ideal facility to produce many Olympic medallists for the future.

While the platform addressed the importance of infrastructure and coaching for medal-winning Olympic sports, an interesting insight was provided by Leo Bruno, Mentor, Basketball Centre of Excellence, when the conversation veered to the growth of basketball in the country.

"When NBA came to India, one of our aims was to make kids love basketball. The passion is definitely there but it needs the support of educational institutes like it is in the American system, where the sport is connected to colleges and universities, which brings about more players."

While most facilities and sports in India are trying to address the importance of infrastructure and scouting, one of the key areas that has remained unaddressed so far is mental health and how an athlete should deal with it. This is why Gaudium Sportopia has also roped in Sean Jamison, Wanderers Sports Medical Centre, South Africa, as the Mentor of its High Performance and Sports Science Centre to oversee the mental aspects right from when an athlete starts to take up sports professionally.

Out of a mammoth total investment of Rs 180 crore, Rs 45 crore has been spent exclusively in creating over 25 world class and fully equipped professional sports academies built on close to 20 acres of land dedicated to indoor and outdoor sports, as the centre and the sports hostels look to become fully operational by 2020 and be counted as one of the country's leading sporting excellence centres.IANS 

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