Jalandhar, February 16
The newly installed BWF Yonex badminton courts at the Raizada Hansraj Stadium here are hosting a special guest these days. Malaysian coach Mohd Hairi Bin Mat Zuber is touring the city under an exchange coach programme. It is for the first time that an international coach has been invited to give training to players in the city. He will spend four days at the academy here.
Hairi, who has been an international coach for Ireland and Laos for Commonwealth Games and Sea Games, respectively, while talking to The Tribune, said he was happy to see and meet enthusiastic and passionate players here. He lauded the sports infrastructure and said the facilities were conveniently located and a boon for budding players.
Hairi (34), who is currently appointed as the head coach in the Metro Badminton Club, Chennai, had an experience of 13 years as coach in the sport and has been a state coach to Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Pahang. He has won various national and international championships, including Johor Open, SUKMA 2008 and Pahang Open.
Interim committee member of the District Badminton Association and former national badminton player Ritin Khanna said the badminton academy in the district, which was being run by two-time Olympian Dipankar Bhattacharjee, was the second best academy in the country after Hyderabad.
He said the coach exchange programme had been started to give exposure to the players and opportunity to them to have training from international coaches.
He said new synthetic courts had been installed at the academy, while the renovation of the gym area and infrastructure was under way.
“We are also working towards improving the hostel and mess facilities so that players from neighbouring states can get enrolled here,” Khanna said, adding that they also had a provision for free training for players belonging to economically weaker sections.
Meanwhile, Vinay, a Class VIII student of St Soldiers School, son of Vinod Kumar who runs a tea stall, while sharing his experience in the academy said: “I have been seeking training here for the past eight months. The coaches have been really helpful. I wish to become a top-class badminton player in the future.”
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