The Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association is formally set to split after decision to bifurcate the State by the Central government. The APBA, until now, is catering to the needs of 23 districts. The popular indoor game, which is growing at a rapid phase after the stupendous show by Olympian Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, P. Kashyap and Chief National Coach and Dronacharya Pullela Gopichand, will soon have two associations - one serving the interests of ten districts of Telangana and the other, the Seemandhra region.

BAI ratification

“We are planning to hold our annual general meeting on March 30 either at Chirala or Kurnool. On the same day, we will hold elections separately for the two associations. Only the list of officials short-listed by APBA will be entitled for voting,” said APBA secretary K. Ch. Punnaiah Chowdary.

He said that after the formation of the two associations, the proposal would be sent to Badminton Association of India (BAI), the parent body, for ratification. “After verifying the facts, BAI will grant affiliation. Until then both the associations will play under APBA,” he added.He also citied the examples of Uttrakhand and Jharkhand with regard to affiliations. “It took a couple of years for these States to get their affiliation even after acquiring Statehood,” he pointed out.He said both the technical staff and coaching fraternity, based on their choice, will take up assignments in the two associations. “Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh will immensely benefit the game because more players can represent at the national and international levels. It also offers jobs to coaches, trainers and other technical staff on either side. The game will be streamlined on both sides once the new sports authorities and Olympic associations are formed,” he said.Keen to spread quality infrastructure in Seemandhra region, Gopichand Badminton Academy has decided to set up centres at Chirala and Kurnool.

“It has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chitturi Subba Rao Trust in Tanuku. The academy which has become operative, is catering to the needs of players both boys and girls below the age of 13 years,” Mr. Chowdary pointed out.