Aizawl, October 8, 2018: A multi-level Badminton training initiative was launched in the state today to identify and hone talent right from the grass root level in Badminton - the third most popular sport in Mizoram. The Tata Trusts along with Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation (PGBF), Mizoram Badminton Association (MBA) and Mizoram State Sports Council (MSSC) have come together to establish an extensive state-wide program.
The project implementation partners will leverage the existing sporting culture and facilities in Mizoram to introduce a three-tier pyramid system consisting of Grassroot Centres, Regional Development Centres (RDCs) and a state-of-the-art High Altitude Training Centre (HATC) across the state to nurture talent at all levels.
The Tata Trusts is implementing the program through its North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA).
Neelam Babardesai, Head-Sports, Tata Trusts, said, “Through this program, the stakeholders aim to create an ecosystem for Badminton players in Mizoram, getting more and more people to participate, make the communities owning the facilities feel more responsible towards bettering and maintaining the facilities, and lastly, increasing the number of trained coaches in Mizoram to be able to provide high quality training.”
At the base of the pyramid structured program, is the Grassroot Centre, which will increase the participation in the sport and reach out to children in the age group of 8-14 years to provide structured training through local coaches. The Grassroots Program is spread over all eight districts of Mizoram and will be targeting 1,600 children over three years.
A total of 40 Grassroot Centres will be set up, of which 25 have been functional since May, with an enrolment of 817 players and 27 trainers.
Each Grassroot Centre is governed by a Grassroot Management Committee (GMC), a four- member committee comprising of one member of local community, a trainer, a district Badminton Officer (part of Mizoram Badminton association) and a senior player from the locality. The GMC, registered with Mizoram Badminton association, is responsible for ensuring quality coaching and smooth operations of the centre and will take over the operations completely after 3 years hence helping to make the program sustainable in the long run without the Trusts support
The next layer of the program will be the RDCs, where selected talent identified from the Grassroots Centres will provided with more intensive training under experienced coaches to help pursue the sport as a career. The RDCs are planned to be set up across six of the eight districts in Mizoram.
At the top of the pyramid is the HATC, where the best emerging talent pursuing the sport professionally will receive training from national and international coaches during regular trainings and camps. It would be a residential set up, where along with state of the art Badminton facilities and training, they would also receive proper tutoring and support to complete their education. To be set up at on a hill at an altitude of 1400 meters above sea level, the HATC will also serve as a residential facility for top athletes from other sports to come and practice to improve their endurance. The HATC will provide training facilities like gymnasium, swimming pool, athletic track, multipurpose hall for all athletes. A Sports science lab and a recovery and rehabilitation centre will also set up manned by trained and experienced Sports physiotherapists, nutritionists and psychologists to measure and improve performance at the elite level, which would be accessible to all athletes training there, as well as in others in Mizoram.
As a part of the program, a four-day coaching workshop by the Master Trainers from Pullela Gopichand Academy was conducted earlier this year. Of the 32 trainers who attended the workshop, 27 were selected as trainers for the Grassroot centres.
A talent hunt will be conducted through state level competitions within the grass root centres co-sponsored by the Trusts along with Mizoram Badminton Association.
“A good coach can change a game, a great coach can change a life” – John Wooden
We truly believe in developing capacities of coaches in the region to make better coaches as better coaches can make great players. Thus this program will not only provide a path to excellence to the athletes, but also to the coaches from the state. Through structured and periodic training by PGBA, even the performance of the coaches will be tracked and a few select dedicated, technically sound coaches, will be promoted to coach in the RDCs and will get the opportunity of getting trained with Gopichand in his academy in Hyderabad. In addition to technical skills, we will also work on their soft skills, pedagogy and personality to develop great coaches who not just produce elite athletes but also nurture those who cannot make it to the top into good healthy, responsible and confident youth who couod go on to make careers in sports.
RDCs and the HATC also opens up various other career options in sports, other than coaching and management. We will need specialists in sports sciences, tutors, personnel to maintain the HATC, chefs to manage the kitchen, gardeners for maintaining the landscape, hospitality service providers, sports infrastructure vendors and specialists and many more. All of this will help strengthen the sporting eco system in the state.
About Tata Trusts
Since inception in 1892, the Tata Trusts, India’s oldest philanthropic organization, have played a pioneering role in bringing about an enduring difference in the lives of the communities they serve. Guided by the principles and the vision of proactive philanthropy of the Founder, Jamsetji Tata, the Trusts’ purpose is to catalyse development in the areas of healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, energy, rural upliftment, urban poverty alleviation, and arts, craft and culture. The Tata Trusts’ programs, achieved through direct implementation, partnerships and grant making, are marked by innovations, relevant to the country. For more information, please visit http://tatatrusts.org/
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