Talent identification, physical literacy key to sports development
India’s chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand says the country has to focus on talent identification and physical literacy for the development of sports and progress of the country as a whole. “If alphabets, words and sentences in some sequence are called alphabetical literacy and if numbers, additions, subtractions, multiplications in some sequence are called numerical literacy then probably crawling, walking, running, jumping and throwing in some sequence would be called physical literacy,” Gopichand said. Delivering a keynote address at the NIT Trichy’s Global Alumni Meet (GAM 2020) held here on Saturday, Gopichand said, “We as a nation have gone up alphabetically and numerically in the last 50 years but we have actually gone down physically in the last 30 years.” Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy (PGBA), a world class badminton training facility was set up by the former Indian Badminton player in Hyderabad in 2001. The academy has produced some of the finest badminton players in the country which includes Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi, Parupalli Kashyap, H.S. Prannoy, Sai Praneeth to name a few. “In the last few years, my idea of sports was all about picking the best gene and best talent and focussing on them repeatedly so that they produce the best result. But around 2015, a 13-year old girl changed my entire perception of sports,” Gopichand said.