CUTTACK: Abhinav Bindra remains India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist. And the former 10m air rifle champion is trying his best to unearth the next great Indian hope. With that thought in mind, the 36-year-old developed the state-of-the-art Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance centre at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar with help from the Odisha government and Rungta mines. The largest of the five — Chandigarh, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune — being the others, the centre truly boasts of some high-quality equipment which can not only help in risk assessment, but recovery as well.
“Bhubaneswar is becoming the hub of sports in the country. The government’s been extremely supportive. A lot of sporting action is coming here. So it was a perfect destination. It’s a very supportive administration. They signed a lot of MoUs in November-December during the Hockey World Cup and we had our centre up and running in 39 days. So it’s been fantastic and we could translate our vision into reality,” Bindra said on the sidelines of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships.
Kartik Doshi, the head of the centre, has studied in the USA and points out that even back there it is very rare to find such equipments under one roof. “To build champions you need the best facilities and this centre has it. Even in the US, such high value machines are rare, something which even foreign athletes during their time here have said.”
Opened in February this year, the centre currently caters to young residents of State sports hostels and national athletes. For them, it is free of cost. There are plans to open the centre for the public from next month at a subsidised rate. From machines which focus on stability to strengthening core muscles to recovery, the place has it all. And all of the data is quantifiable and personalised according to athlete’s needs. During recovery or training, there are fun games built into the machines to void making things mundane.
“We do high performance, injury prevention, injury management, so it’s part and performance of sport right at the elite level but also at the grassroot level,” Bindra described. Simple things like maintaining balance is as tough a job for an athlete as doing high-intensity training. “Most physios and trainers are not aware of the importance of stability. So many people have been taken aback by the results. It just shows that awareness regarding these things are key if India is to develop as a sporting nation,” Doshi added.
The game-changers, as Doshi termed them, are the Electrical Muscular Stimulation (EMS) and CryoSpace. In EMS, vests are put on athletes which provide electrical signals for muscle stimulation and can condense two hours in a gym seven days a week into 20 minutes of intense training twice a week.