‘Badminton as a sport is growing in Goa’
PANJIM: Goa isn’t just known for football anymore. There are various other sports where Goans have etched their name in the national books. The latest being Suyash Prabhudessai, who became the third Goan cricketer to play in the Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday.
Badminton is another sport where Goans have earned recognition at the National as well as the international platform. Anura Prabhudesai and Tanisha Crasto are two latest names who made the State proud by representing India in badminton at the International level.
“Badminton as a sport is growing in Goa,” said Goa Badminton Association Secretary Sandeep Heble during the Herald TV sports show – Sports Talkies on Wednesday.
The Goa Badminton Association has over 1200 registered players with over 2000 odd players playing the sport in the State. The participants have been rising over the years and Heble relates the rise in interest in this sport due to India’s success at the International level.
“Our players are winning at the International level. During the last three Olympics, India has won three medals and this has played a huge influence on the youngsters, ”said Heble.
However, as the head of the association, Heble and his team have been doing every bit they can to promote and develop the sport. Unlike football where the state sports receives huge support from the government, the sport of badminton doesn’t receive any support.
“For any sport to grow, it needs support from the government. Badminton doesn’t receive any such things. Whether badminton or other sports, doesn’t get any special scheme, ”explained Heble.
Heble stressed that besides the support in the form of aid, Government and stakeholders should consider having residential academies in Goa. “Playing in tournaments is one aspect but there is a lot required. One thing Goa misses is that it doesn’t have a residential academy.
A small city like Bangalore has around 70-100 academies whereas a big state of Goa does not have a single center of excellence or academy. A good player has to go outside the state which is an extra cost too, ”explained Heble.
Heble also added that sportspeople representing nationals should be provided with job placements.
Praveen Shenoy, president of Chicalim Badminton Club stated that it’s not just about supporting the top players but the authority concerned should look at the whole badminton ecosystem.
“Rather just supporting top players, the infusion of funds also needs to come to the grassroots level,” expressed Praveen.
To be a national player, you need to compete with the best. We need dedicated academies, coaches, and a support system in badminton. The sports of badminton will achieve pinnacles in Goa. Tanisha (Crasto) is a name in Goa. Why can’t we have another 20 Tanishas? We can. There are badminton events happening across Goa. There is amazing talent, they just need support, ”said Praveen.