THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:For the young shuttlers at the Sports Hub Academy at Kariavattom, Sunday provided unforgettable moments.They got an opportunity to train with U Vimal Kumar, one of India’s top badminton players who subsequently served as the chief national coach. The session, which began at 1 pm at the indoor courts of the Sports Hub, lasted till 4.30 pm. Vimal drew attention to the fact the facilities at the Sports Hub were of international standards, a matter of pride to the entire country.
‘’The youngsters here are fortunate in having such facilities for their training. In our younger days we had to do with a lot less,’’ he said. National champion in 1988 and 1989, Vimal represented India in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. At one time, he was ranked among the top 20 players in the world.
After his days as a top-notch player, he served as the chief national coach for the Indian badminton team for several years. Later, he trained youngsters at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy and has coached, among others, Saina Nehwal.
On Sunday, the former champion also had a word of advice for parents. Great care should be given to children aged four to six. At that stage, they should be encouraged to rise early, eat good food and train. They are capable of looking after their needs once they turn older, he said.Vimal visited the Sports Hub as part of the ‘Sports Icon’ visits organised by the Sports Hub Academy. At the moment, nearly 1,000 children are being coached at the academy.