Prakash Padukone launches badminton talent hunt in Mumbai
Former All England champion Prakash Padukone and Tata Capital on Monday announced launch of a joint talent hunt for children between eight and 12 years of age at five gymkhanas of the city.
'Tata Capital Super Shuttlers' would be held from May 27 to June 7 here to identify potentially good players for a two-day tournament at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) on June 15 and 16, at the end of which a boy and a girl would be chosen to train at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore.
Padukone said a renowned coach from Indonesia, Yusuf Johari, has been roped in to identify potentially good players and would work on the children.
"This initiative is basically for those who have never played the sport. 50 to 100 children would be called up at each club for a two-day trial and the selected few would take part in the two-day tournament," said Padukone.
"At the end of the tournament involving four boys and four girls we will pick up one boy and a girl (winners) for further training at Bangalore in our academy," said Padukone, who later said that a trio of very talented boys from his academy would also play an exhibition match at the CCI.
Apart from CCI, the other clubs/gymkhanas who are part of the initiative are Bombay Gymkhana, Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana, Khar Gymkhana and National Sports Club of India.
"Johari is very good in training children and was with us at the academy in January-February. He is a very experienced coach in teaching technique and footwork. It's very important to teach players the right grip and footwork at a young age as later on it's very difficult to correct them," said Padukone.
"This is the first initiative of such kind in India and depending on its success can be replicated in other cities."
Though the initiative is open to non-members of the five club/gymkhanas, members' children would get preference in signing up for the project, said Bombay Gymkhana's badminton secretary Shirish Nadkarni.