BHUBANESWAR: Chief national coach for Indian badminton team Pullela Gopichand on Friday emphasised the need to invest more on sports and sports-related infrastructure for producing better athletes. “Investment in sports is million times beneficial and productive for a State,” said Gopichand, winner of All England Badminton Championships.
Delivering the 17th Lecture of Odisha Knowledge Hub in the State Secretariat here, Gopichand said “If a State does not build stadiums then it has to build hospitals”. Investment in sports would make people ‘physically literate’ and hence more productive, he said and added that very few visionary leaders realise the long term benefits of the sports and think of investing in it. He praised the Odisha Government for having invested in making Bhubaneswar a ‘Sports Capital’.
Recipient of several prestigious sports awards, Gopichand opined that every child has the potential of being a champion in some or other field. Hence, the sports promoters and authorities should replace the word ‘talent search’ with the word ‘talent mapping’. ‘Talent search’ gives a feeling of ‘loosing’ among the young competitors.
He also threw light on the importance of ‘visualisation, meditation and yoga’ in achieving success in any walk of life.
In his introductory speech, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan said, “A good coach can be a game changer in sports but a great coach like Gopichand can change the entire life of a person towards success”. While Gopichand inspired a generation of players during his playing days, as a coach he nurtured that generation to top class players, he added.