Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Friday inked a memorandum of understanding with Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation to set up a world-class badminton academy in the state.
Gopichand and Sports secretary Sourav Garg signed the MoU in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the state secretariat here.
As per the MoU, the academy will provide technical support, including coaching and physiotherapy services for the players, while the government will bear their accommodation, transportation and other expenses.
The initiative will help in thrusting Odisha in the forefront of developing world-class talent for Badminton among other sporting disciplines in the state.
The Chief Minister said that the state aspires to win Olympic medals in sports and there is no better than Pullela Gopichand to help Odisha realising this dream.
He has trained several national and international badminton players who have brought laurels to the country, the Chief Minister said.
“Badminton is one of the focus areas in sports for Odisha. Under the tutelage and guidance of PGMF, I am confident that we will be able to nurture and groom world-class talents of the future. I want Odisha to win Olympic Medals for India, and we are all committed to making this into a reality,” said Patnaik.
He said the state government will provide all possible support to Gopichand and his foundation.
Recalling the success of Asian Athletics Championships, the Chief Minister said that it was organised in a period of 90 days where 42 countries and more than 1000 sportspersons participated.
Speaking on this occasion, Sports Minister Chandra Sarthi Behra said, “We are proud to associate with Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation (PGMF) which will help us develop badminton stars of the future.”
Gopichand said he is immensely pleased to see the kind of support the state government is providing to sports.
He said the government is making all efforts to bring Odisha in the global sporting map.
“It is an honour for us to be associated with the Government of Odisha and we are aligned to their vision to keep producing world-class talent. The trajectory of Badminton as sports in India has hit new highs in the recent past, with top players like Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu winning major honours at regular intervals. The academy in Odisha will help in keeping the momentum up, and we hope to nurture great talent right from the grassroots to the international levels,” said Gopichand.