Chetak Khedikar has been appointed as the Indian junior badminton team coach for the forthcoming 19th International School Federation (ISF) Games.
Experienced Nagpur coach Chetak Khedikar will be one of the two coaches for the eight-member Indian Under-18 badminton squad at the prestigious tournament. The mega event will be held in Normandy, France from May 14 to 22, 2022.
The School Games Federation of India (SGFI) announced Khedikar’s name on Friday for the upcoming sporting extravaganza. Around 3,500 athletes from 70 countries are expected to participate in the 20 sporting disciplines at these games.
The ISF Gymnasiade is the largest international multi-sport and educational event for school students aged 16-18 years old. This major event was organized for the first time in 1974 and will celebrate its 19th edition in France later this month.
For Badminton World Federation (BWF) certified coach Khedikar, it will be his maiden overseas coaching assignment. Khedikar’s trainee Nikkita Joseph is part of the four-member U-18 Indian girls team for the upcoming event.
The 40-year-old has been instrumental in shaping several shuttlers in the region, including Rohan Gurbani, who played in the 2019 World Junior Championships.
He has mentored Nikkita Joseph, an SGFI gold medalist, since her childhood. Nikkita was ranked fourth in the Under-17 girls category in India.
Khedkar has also produced national-level players like Sameet Dandwate; Aditi Pandit; CBSE’s first national individual champion, Mrunmayi Saoji; Sudhanshu Bhure, and Pranali Sapkal.
Chetak Khedikar had attended the prestigious BWF coaches’ conference in Dubai in 2016
Chetak Khedikar is a qualified BWF Level 1 certified coach and had attended the prestigious BWF coaches’ conference in Dubai during the Dubai World Series finals in December 2016.
Khedikar has also cleared the Coaches’ Education Program (CEP) examination by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in badminton and sports science.
He also attended various coaches’ clinics and workshops under the guidance of international coaches Pullela Gopichand, Augus Dwi Santoso, Namrih Suroto, and Aaron Lee of Malaysia.
The former shuttler had won a bronze medal representing the Nagpur University badminton team in the West Zone. He had also qualified for the All India Inter-University tournament in 2006-07.
He also participated in the 8th Maharashtra State Inter-University Sports Meet Ashwamedh Games in 2004.
Khedikar, who is a sports teacher at the Centre Point School, Dabha branch, in Nagpur, was a coach of Maharashtra State in the 49th National School Games in 2003.
He was also the assistant coach for the state junior and senior team at the West Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship in Vadodara and at the Senior National Badminton Championship in Nagpur.
The Nagpur-based coach runs his badminton academy at Annasaheb Gundewar College and Shuttlers Craze Sports Academy (SCSA) at the Divisional Sports Complex in Mankapur area of his hometown. He termed his appointment a great honor and is hoping to do a good job for the country.
“It is a very good opportunity for me to be the coach of the Indian side during the 19th International School Federation World School Championship. I am very happy and excited about this new assignment. It will be a new experience for me, and I would like to make the most of it."
He said that the Indian team camp will be held in Noida before the departure of the national squad to France. During the short conditioning camp, Indian players can train together. This will help the coach in trying various team combinations.
Khedikar thanked the sponsors and organisers behind his team ahead of their participation in the games.
“I thank the School Games Federation of India, Employer Center Point Group of Schools management, MBA, NDBA, and Federal Bank for supporting my players and SCSA coaches."
Khedikar assured that the visa process for all 10 members of the Indian squad has been completed and everyone is raring to go for the mega event.