Former Thomas Cupper Uday Pawar says India needs specialised academies aplenty in order to give a big boost to badminton.
“The two academies run by former All England champions Prakash Padukone and P. Gopichand are not enough. I run an academy in a much smaller scale at the Goregaon Sports Club (GSC). There are only three academies in India. I think there should be many more in all the States and should be supported in the same manner as the one in Hyderabad. State governments and the corporate world should become proactive,” he said at the conclusion of a badminton clinic for Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai at GSC. 25 boys and girls train under Pawar at GSC.
Pawar added that stalwarts like Nandu Natekar, Suresh Goel and Prakash Padukone excelled in skills and were world class. “Rudy Hartono changed it all, making it a power game, bringing in the elements of half-smash, full-smash and jump-smash. Lighter rackets and shuttlecocks also came in. Then, the Chinese came and added to the skill and power. Fitness too became an important factor. One has to be at least at 80 per cent of the fitness levels of the Chinese in order to compete with them,” said Pawar.