The Badminton Association of India (BAI) officially opened the highly-advanced National Centre of Excellence in Guwahati, Assam, on Friday. Also, an MoU was signed between the government of Assam and BAI during the launch event.
This significant event was embraced by the Chief Minister of Assam and BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma. Indonesian badminton legend Taufik Hidayat was also present on the occasion.
Indian legend Pullela Gopichand, who is also the chief coach of the Indian team, along with members of the historic Thomas Cup-winning team, also graced the occasion.
Assam's Sports Minister, Nandita Gorlosa; President of Sunrise Group of Companies, Dalipkumar Seth; Vivek Dewangan, CMD of REC; and Vikram Dhar, Managing Director of Sunrise Sports (India); alongside key BAI officials were also present.
The BAI President, while opening up on the huge success, commented:
“This National Centre of Excellence was a dream. It has been a journey of seven long years and I am delighted that today we not only have the finest excellence centre in India but one of the best in the world too. What is even more heartening is that this will be part of Assam’s legacy and will revolutionise sports history of the region.”
Excellent amenities in the National Centre of Excellence
The National Centre of Excellence has an outstanding array of world-class amenities. It incorporates a fabulous set of 16 courts prepared to serve the relentless training demands of 60 players who are starting their training.
Furthermore, the center houses a 4,000 sq ft gymnasium equipped with state-of-the-art fitness supplies, a 60-bed hostel for athletes, and a devoted 2,000 sq ft physiotherapy center.
Notably, foreign badminton coaches, inducing Mulyo Handoyo from Indonesia, will be nurturing singles players. Ex-All England champion Ivan Sozonov from Russia and Korea’s Park Tae-Sang will be working with local mentors and coaches who will be trained to match top international standards.
Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of BAI, on the launch of the National Centre of Excellence, said:
“The modern day facilities in this centre will provide a comprehensive ecosystem that nurtures athletes, coaches, and sports professionals to reach their full potential. It will contribute significantly to the growth of sports by creating an environment that promotes excellence and innovation. We also plan to expand this centre further to help train more players in future."
“This centre comes as testament to BAI’s vision of taking Indian badminton to the next level. I am confident that this will play a catalyst to many successes that will be seen in the time to come,” India’s ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth commented.