Badminton Life



Padukone Keen to Open Bahrain Academy

Prakash Padukone is famous around the badminton world as India's first genuine superstar, especially after his victory in the All England Championship men's singles competition in 1980.

In India, he has also gained a reputation as a man who wants to produce the next generation of badminton players in his country. To that extent, he has a well-known academy in Bangalore.

He also has another academy in the western Indian city of Pune.

Now, Padukone wants to expand his academy to other parts of the world and one of the first institutions outside India could be in Bahrain.

Padukone was recently in Bahrain for talks with officials from the Gulf nation about starting an academy in the oil-rich state.

The aim is to give promising Bahraini and expatriate youngsters the chance to receive top qualify coaching from highly qualified coaches, otherwise unavailable in their country.

Padukone met with officials from the Bahrain Badminton and Squad Federation in addition to Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, president of the General Organisation of Youth and Sports.

He was quoted as saying in Gulf media: "Officials of BBSF were very receptive of the idea of setting up an academy and Shaikh Fawaz has asked for a proposal to be put forward.

"I am impressed with the youngsters on the island - both locals and expats. I think with right coaching and grooming they can come up to world standards.

"If the academy is set up and I find talented players who can reach greater heights then we can take them to my main centre in Bangalore for further training and coaching."

Padukone can boast 30 students in his main academy in Bangalore while 15 talented players are being groomed in Pune.

Accompanying the 53-year-old Padukone on the trip was Tom John, a British coach of Indian origin who has coached the national teams of England and Portugal. He has also played a part in helping to develop the sport in France and Italy.

India has consistently produced top quality players over the past 20 years with a new batch, led by Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal, making a big impact on the international scene.












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