The Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA), in association with Tata Capital, will launch a badminton talent hunt for kids in the age group of 8-12 who have not played the game. The venture, named as Tata Capital Super Shuttlers will be overseen by Indonesian coach Yusuf Johari, 56, and specialist in technique and working with kids. PPBA coach T.R. Balachandran will also be present to assess those shortlisted.

Padukone informed about the unique aspect about the venture, to be launched in Mumbai as a test project and extended to other cities based on the experience. As for now, the talent hunt will involve five Mumbai clubs. We are looking at this as our pilot project and will take a decision about extended to more clubs and other cities.

The PPBA founder gave emphasis on looking at kids who are beginners in badminton. Indonesian coach Johari has worked with PPBA earlier in Bangalore. He is very good at working with kids. Learning basics the right way, the grip and footwork, is crucial for kids taking up badminton. That is why we are targeting the 8-12 age group, said Padukone, revealing that Johari and Balachandran will visit the five clubs to have a look at the talent. Three exceptional talents from PPBA, sent to Indonesia for training and exposure, will play practice matches for the kids benefit.

Five clubs

The Super Shuttlers camps will be held between May 27-June7 at five clubs in the launch year. Each club will have 100 kids between 8-12; best players will compete in a tournament on June 15-16. The best boy and best girl will be drafted into PPBA in Mumbai or even moved to Bangalore, informed Padukone.

Five clubs chosen for the pilot project are Cricket Club of India, Bombay Gymkhana, National Sports Club of India, Khar Gymkhana and Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana. Tata Capital Limited’s Amar Sinhji, noted badminton player/writer, Shirish Nadkarni, and club secretaries were present.

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