BAI inaugurates ‘dream’ National Centre of Excellence in Guwahati -
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BAI inaugurates ‘dream’ National Centre of Excellence in Guwahati

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Khel Today Bureau 

Guwahati: In a major boost for the development of Indian badminton, Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Friday inaugurated the state-of-the-art National Centre of Excellence in Guwahati, Assam.

The MoU was signed between BAI and the Government of Assam, unfolding a historic chapter for India sports during the launch event.

The grand inauguration ceremony was attended by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam and BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, Olympics champion badminton legend Taufik Hidayat, chief coach of Indian team Pullela Gopichand, members of the historic Thomas Cup-winning team, Hon’ble Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare, Assam, Nandita Gorlosa, Dalipkumar Seth, President, Sunrise Group of Companies, Vivek Dewangan, CMD, REC and Vikram Dhar, Managing Director, Sunrise Sports (India) along with key BAI officials.

“This National Centre of Excellence was a dream. It has been a journey of seven long years and I am delighted that today we not only have the finest excellence centre in India but one of the best in the world too. What is even more heartening is that this will be part of Assam’s legacy and will revolutionise sports history of the region,” BAI President commented.

The National Centre of Excellence boasts of an impressive array of world-class facilities, including the remarkable 16 courts designed to meet rigorous training needs of 60 athletes in phase 1. In addition, the centre features a 4,000 sq ft gymnasium with modern fitness equipment, 60-bed hostel for players, a dedicated 2,000 sq ft physiotherapy centre to ensure the athletes receive utmost care and support to maintain their peak performance.

Renowned international badminton coaches Indonesia’s Mulyo Handoyo, who will be looking into the development of singles players, former All England champion Russia’s Ivan Sozonov and Korea’s Park Tae-Sang will be spearheading a strong coaching panel along with a string of Indian coaches, who will also be trained and developed to meet the global standards.

Indonesian legend Hidayat praised BAI’s step to bolster the badminton movement  in the country, “This National Centre of Excellence has good facilities and is bigger. I hope more junior players from India will become big players like Gopichand, Sindhu, Saina. I hope I can come again in the near future. Good luck to Indians and also players from Assam.”

Spread across a humongous area of 40,000 square feet with cutting-edge facilities, the centre comes as a significant milestone for Indian badminton as it redefines badminton training and also empowers the country’s glorious future in the sport.

Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of BAI, said: “The modern day facilities in this centre will provide a comprehensive ecosystem that nurtures athletes, coaches and sports professionals to reach their full potential. It will contribute significantly to the growth of sports by creating an environment that promotes excellence and innovation. We also plan to expand this centre further to help train more players in future.”

“This centre comes as testament to BAI’s vision of taking Indian badminton to the next level. I am confident that this will play a catalyst to many successes that will be seen in the time to come,” India’s ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth commented.

The jam packed stadium also witnessed top Indian badminton stars Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Vishnuvardhan Goud Panjala, Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila playing an exciting exhibition match for the people present.

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