A. Joseph Antony
HYDERABAD: Two years ago, a group of children from the Nandi Pipes Badminton Academy gaped at the aircraft touching down and taking off from Hyderabad’s Begumpet Airport. Most of them hadn’t seen jets from such close quarters.
That visit was part of a two-day treat given by the Nandyal-based industrial house’s management for achievements by these lads in various national and State tournaments. “You could be flying on one of these, if you work harder,” their coach Kattoju Venkat had urged them on the occasion, little realising his words would prove prophetic.
One of his wards, Attla Naresh Kumar is now among three boys picked to represent India in the sub-junior international tournament at Tokyo.
On August 25th evening, he’ll fly out of Delhi for the Japanese capital.
Dreams soaring sky-high have truly taken wing. The Mothukulapalli native of Kurnool District’s Srivella mandal is among the youngest shuttlers from the State to play in an international tournament and the first from this district.
Naresh’s father, A. Pamulety, a pointsman with the South Central Railway, is indebted to the Nandi Group chairman and Nandyal MP, S.P.Y. Reddy and managing director S. Sreedhar Reddy, for their unflinching support right from the start of his son’s badminton career.
Naresh’s playing kit is sponsored by Ashaway, the Singapore-based sports equipment firm.
Coach Venkat passes on the credit to his own mentor, S.M. Arif, the Dronacharya Awardee, whose advanced training methods benefited Naresh immensely.
Also working quietly behind the scenes in the boy’s success is K. Vamsidhar, the academy’s manager and Secretary, Kurnool District Badminton Association.
Combining his anticipation and stunning smashing skills with Anurag Thakkar, the duo made the final of the Krishna Khaitan all-India tournament at Chennai in May.
That performance alone earned 14-year-old Naresh his seat on the flight to Japan.