Para badminton training goes online! SAI webinar on basics of the game draws many participants
Para badminton goes online during the times of COVID-19. To ensure that the popularity of para badminton grows even during this lockdown and to boost the morale of players, the Sports of Authority of India is going online to organise webinars on the game.
Nearly 300 para badminton players from nine countries other than India attended the first para badminton webinar organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The session was moderated by Paralympian and Khel Ratna awardee Deepa Malik. Also present were Ramji Bahadur Shreshtha, Chairman (Para Badminton) Badminton Asia and President, Nepal Badminton Association and Prabhakar Rao, Chairman (Para Badminton), Badminton Association of India, who delivered messages. Pramod Bhagat, Arjuna awardee and world number one player also spoke to the participants.
Gaurav Khanna, India Head Coach, gave a lecture on the basics of the game.
Participants from 10 countries
Coach Khanna covered a broad range of topics like the accomplishments of Indian players on the international stage, history of the sport as well as the equipment, rules and major competitions.
The aim was to create awareness about the basics of the game and popularise the sport, so it attracts wider participation. We had a good response with para badminton players from 10 countries in all attending. – Gaurav Khanna, Head Coach, Indian para badminton
The session was for one hour, which as Coach Khanna says, is not enough for in depth training. The SAI plans to follow this up with regular sessions for all para sports. The plan is to organise online sessions like these for other para sports as well.
Among those present from the Indian para badminton contingent was SL4 shuttler and world number two Sukant Kadam and Arjuna awardee Manoj Sarkar. Many players had questions about the schedule of Paralympic qualifiers which had to be indefinitely postponed due to the COVID pandemic.
Similar sessions for other para sports
Coach Khanna clarified that there was still no official intimation. “However, we are in close touch with some officials who have informed us there will be a new terminology decided regarding the qualification which will be in the interest of all the players.”
Manoj said the players were currently focused on staying positive. “If we stay cheerful, then only we will be able to work towards our collective dream to succeed. For now, give time to your family and don’t stop training.”
In the meantime, Coach Khanna is ensuring that the players are up to date with their training. While some players are at the academy in Lucknow, others are confined to the homes.
“I have made a schedule for all the athletes and all of them have to report to us every day about the sessions they have done”, he told NewzHook. “Some players don’t have the space outside their homes to train. For them we have devised alternative training programmes”. Players share pictures and videos of what they have done every day.
Apart from India, there were participants from Dubai, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Dubai, Maldives, China, and Nepal.
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