Nagpur: In his half an hour motivational and inspiring speech ace badminton coach of the country Padma Bhushan Pullela Gopichand said instead of making champions he want to produce champion mindset.
He was speaking during SJAN-Raisoni Achievers annual award function organised by Sports Journalists’ Association of Nagpur in association with Raisoni Group at Hotel Tuli Imperial on Sunday.
Executive director of Raisoni Group Nitin Tatiya presided over the function. President of Maharashtra Badminton Association Arun Lakhani and DGM of Bank of Maharashtra TV Ramanmurty also shared the dais.
While elaborating his point Gopichand said, ” When we play sports, we develop health, character, human bonding, community building, and we also happen to win medals. We all are winners in that regard. I try to bring this mindset into my academy, but I am failing terribly because of the competition. People say my academy is a factory of producing sportspersons. I don’t do want that. I do not want to make champions. I want to produce champion mindset,” he added.
Gopichand lamented that today medal is the only parameter to judge a sportsperson. ” I think in reality a medal does not make you a better human being. We have made it look as if winning medal is everything. Our goalpost needs to change”.
While narrating his own experience as a badminton player Gopichand who received Arjuna Award in 1999 the Dronacharya Award in 2009 said when he started badminton, he never felt he would do well and badminton happened by chance.” My father was working in a bank. We happened to stay close to Lal Bahadur Stadium. We went to take cricket admission but it was full. Tennis was expensive. Finally, I got admission in badminton. That was the reality and here I am today”, said PV Sindhu coach.
Speaking about importance of sports in one’s life Gopichand said, ” For many years, in schools, I wasn’t very good in maths. But luckily, I was good in sports and it has given me so much. What I learnt from sports, the more I think I know, sports gives me the reason to say I don’t know. Sports teaches you a lot. Today, I can say that we can live comfortably, happily, successfully failing a mathematics class but a generation will not succeed unless we pass a physical education test,” he said.
SJAN president Kishor Bagde made introductory remarks. Treasurer Suhas Nayse and Dr Ram Thakur conducted the proceedings.