Olympic heroes Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom expressed their deep fondness for Bangalore, with the badminton star saying she is keen to start a badminton academy in the city.
“I want to do something for badminton in Bangalore; I can see the interest here. I hope to support badminton in a big way here so that youngsters get motivated,” Saina told a press conference here, adding she is in talks with corporates to help make the academy a reality.
The ace also spoke of her connection with the city. “When I was a junior, I used to visit the city every two or three months to attend the badminton camps at Sports Authority of India (SAI). I’ve played many tournaments here at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy as well. I hope to come here again and again.”
Ditto from Kom
Boxer Mary Kom also heaped praise on the city. “I’m very happy to be here. I cannot spend too much time here though as I am employed with the Manipur Police. I like Bangalore a lot, and maybe my kids will study here in the future.”
Both the bronze medal winners were handed the ownership documents of a three-bedroom apartment each, gifted by Commune India in recognition of the duo’s fine performance at the Olympics.
In a fine gesture, the two sportswomen pledged an item from their personal sport gear for an auction. The proceeds will go to Save a Mother, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at improving healthcare provided to expectant mothers.
The duo then attended a Salute to Women event at Bishop Cotton Boys School later in the evening, where singer Usha Uthup entertained the crowd. Actors Ramya and Arundhati Nag, MLA Anita Kumaraswamy, Bangalore City Police Commissioner B.G. Jyothi Prakash Mirji were the other invitees.