P V Sindhu reaching the Olympics final and winning India’s first silver is commendable and moment of pride for all Indians. Apart from winning the silver.
Sindhu did manage something unthinkable because she single-handedly shifted the focus of Indian sport lovers from cricket to badminton. The whole nation was glued to TV sets watching the badminton match and the credit must go to the fantastic efforts of Super Sindhu.
Sindhu’s victory has brought badminton into spotlight, made the nation realise that there was life beyond cricket too.
But, what most sports lovers forgot to remember was the role of her coach Pullela Gopichand, who must be credited with nurturing and training Sindhu to be the champ that she is today.
Pullela Gopichand , himself a former badminton player, opened his own badminton academy in Hyderabad with the sole aim of promoting badminton and providing excellent training facilities to the players.
Gopichand had a dream which he persuaded with utmost honesty, faced many hurdles in the process but didn’t give up on his dream. The Andhra Pradesh government did provide him land to open the academy but the challenges were many and journey tough.
He needed huge funds to start and run the academy, with not much help from the government. Gopichand approached many corporate houses, who made their decisions based on monetary gains and found cricket premier leagues more attractive propositions.
These challenges did not break the spirit of Gopichand as he continued with his resolve until he finally succeeded building the academy from the scratch, bit by bit.
Today Gopichand Badminton Academy is a premiere academy, training many young and budding badminton players. World famous Sania Nehwal is also a progeny of this academy and now P V Sindhu’s glorious journey in the Olympics is the feather in his cap .
P V Sindhu played like a champ and she deserves every bit of the glory but her victory is incomplete until we recognise the role of Gopichand in her historic feat.
Gopichand was the force that guided this young star, instilled discipline and gave her the confidence to face the finals in Rio Olympics.
Let’s not forget his vision and struggle while we celebrate Sindhu’s silver medal. Let’s remember that if we want more Sindhus to bring glory we do need many many more Gopichands, who are honest, focused and determined to nurture raw talents to make them into world-beating stars.