Ace shuttler and Arjuna awardee Jwala Gutta on Tuesday launched her own academy the ‘Second Option’ for players with “personalities.” The Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence, she claims will provide players with individuality. She says. “I want to develop an individual in a way that it reflects who they actually are.” With training facilities for various sports, the academy will be exclusive for cricket, badminton and swimming, is based in Hyderabad and will be operational next month.
Gutta was recently in the news for making remarks against national coach Pullela Gopichand. The two share a conflict equation, and Gutta is not happy that the national badminton camps are held at Gopichand’s academy in Hyderabad. Gopichand was also a selector led her to raise the conflict of interest issue.
Now, Gutta has launched her own academy in Hyderabad. And, she is in the selection committee too.
“I didn’t have a choice,” says Gutta who bought the land using her father’s retirement benefits and also selling one of their houses since no support was provided by the state government as promised seven years ago. “Having an academy would probably also give me some strength. It’s like my muscle. I can speak more. I go to selection committee meetings and 90 percent of them are from one place. I am left defending the other 10 percent. I think we needed second option in our country. It was high time.”
- Jwala Gutta officially launched the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence for players with “personalities.”
- The academy, she claims will provide players with individuality. She says. “I want to develop an individual in a way that it reflects who they actually are.”
- Gutta bought the land using her father’s retirement benefits and she also sold one of their houses since no support was provided by the state government as promised seven years ago.
- The Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence is built on a 55 acre land, comprises 14 courts.
- The academy is located in the outskirts of Hyderabad in Sujatha High School, Gachibowli.
- Jwala said she has approached the Sports Ministry for its support.
“India is huge country and we just have Saina and Sindhu, so I believe we need more players. With the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence, I will strive to inculcate discipline in those who are willing to learn and work towards making them good and contributing members of society,” said Jwala, the 2011 World Championship women’s doubles bronze medallist.
The academy will have a world-class gym and a yoga centre to provide athletes with a one-stop destination for all necessities.
“I'm hoping it gives me more muscle power so that I have better say.”
Her long-term plan is to convert this into a Sports Authority of India centre. “I have already approached (SM) Arif sir. He will look over the academy overall. We will appoint two foreign coaches. I will need at least 10 coaches for 14 courts, so I am looking for Indian coaches. But I’ll be mentoring. I know who’s capable of coaching and who is the real coach (laughs). Coaching is very pious and frankly, it’s a lot of hard work,” she says.
Asked how does she see her role in the Academy, Jwala said, “I can't pretend to be a coach. I have not learnt coaching. So my role is to mentor and be the middle person, I am the bridge to players, coaches and parents.” She had previously taken a sabbatical after the 2012 London Games.
The two-time Olympian voices her opinion time and again with issues concerning the sports industry and now, the 14-time feisty national champion is no less of a ‘Boss’ when it comes down to improve the quality of sportsmanship in the country.
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Gutta has made India proud by winning many medals at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Uber Cup. She is a two-time Olympian and a champion in the 2014 Glasgow Games in women’s doubles.