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Posted at: Dec 5, 2018, 12:29 AM; last updated: Dec 5, 2018, 12:29 AM (IST)PREMIER INSTITUTE: HATSUN BADMINTON CENTRE

Ace up the game

Ace up the game
Rudy Hartona interacting with budding shuttlers at the Hatsun Badminton Centre.

Sunny Kaul 
From Thiruthangal

Significance of sports in India now is much more than an extra-curricular activity.  It makes for a great career option as well. Realising this, parents too have started encouraging their wards to take up a sport and turn it into profession.

If you too want to take up and excel in a sport, it is important to train right and have access to the required paraphernalia. One such centre aiming to carve champions out of young kids is the Hatsun Badminton Centre at Thiruthangal in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu.              

World-class facility

Situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the centre offers state-of-the-art facility to the young kids, who want to grow into international shuttlers. “It is a world-class set-up,” said iconic Indonesian shuttler Rudy Hartono, who has been roped in by the centre as a mentor.  

“If you want to win medals, you can’t just depend on one player. You need to have a continuous supply of players and centres like ours can make the dream come true. With good teamwork and the right programme, the centre can produce world-class players in five years,” adds Rudy, eight-time winner of the All England Open Badminton Championship.

Built at an initial cost of Rs 25 crore, the Hatsun Badminton Centre offers both residential and non-residential facilities to the trainees. It has also got eight courts, with a scalable potential of up to 16 courts. The budding shuttlers can learn the finer nuances of the game from the team of eight coaches led by Rajinikanth.

The facility also boasts of a gymnasium hall, swimming pool with a built-in filtration system and residential apartments for coaches and visiting parents. The centre has also tied-up with RJ Mantra School, Virudhunagar, so that kids’ education doesn’t get affected.

“We have about 74 trainees right now, out of which 44 are residential. We have different programmes for the players. There are elite, advanced, beginner and intermediate categories. We focus primarily on the elite and advanced categories and on the players who can represent the country at the international level,” said Ajith Haridas, a former national badminton champion and chief mentor of the centre.     

Taking the lead

The players from the centre have been making rapid strides at the national level, with six of them making it to various championships since the opening of the facility in June last year.

“I had no medals to show till I joined this centre one year ago. I won the state singles title in the U-15 age-group in 2017 and finished as a runner-up in the U-17 age-group this year. I also won a bronze medal in the national meet,” said Pranavi, who hails from Chennai.

Exchanging skills

RG Chandramogan, chairman and managing director of the Hatsun Group, meanwhile, informed that the centre would also have an exchange programme with Hartono’s academy in Indonesia.  “We have requested Rudy for a mutual exchange programme, wherein kids from his centre in Indonesia can come here and our wards can visit there, and he has agreed to it,” said Chandramogan. The programme is likely to begin in February next year with the shuttlers from Hartono’s academy travelling to the Hatsun Centre.

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