For the past decade, Pullela Gopichand has been a godfather of sorts to Indian badminton. Apart from lifting the All Indian Badminton Championship as a player in 2001, he also set up an academy which has produced world class players such as P V Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap.
However, Gopichand believes it takes more than just hard work and determination to succeed as an athlete in India.
Currently at the Senior National Championships in Vijaywada, Gopichand recalled his struggles from his playing and coaching career. He said, “I have even mortgaged my family properties to build the sports academy in 2003.”
Interacting with the media during a press conference at Vijaywada, he added, “Till now, there are no regrets in my life and I am satisfied with what I have done and what I have achieved. I am very happy for the present badminton international players including PV Sindhu, Kashyap, who have joined my academy at the age of eight and sixteen years in 2004 and setting new records at international levels.”
Gopichand expressed his anger over the sports infrastructure in India and said that many talented sportspersons can’t develop in the country. He added, “Be self-confident and work hard to achieve the goals.”