Despite growing concerns regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, renowned badminton coach Vimal Kumar wants athletes to not miss training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Hyderabad. As per the state government’s order, the academy was shut this week but there is belief that it will be up and running again by April 23. Also Read - I'm Being Called Half-Corona: Shuttler Jwala Gutta Opens Up About Racial Abuse
“We have told the players and their parents not to get worked up or worried about the virus,” Kumar, who is Saina Nehwal’s childhood coach, told Times of India. “The trainees are a young, healthy lot with good defence systems to counter the virus. In a worst-case scenario, if a player gets infected despite all precautions, consider it like an injury he or she endures on a regular basis. In this case, you can recover in two weeks and return to the court. A player cannot miss training fearing a virus attack.” Also Read - PV Sindhu Could Remain World Champion For Three Years
Kumar reveals the intention behind getting the academy to resume is to restore back normalcy within players. The PPBA is a national training centre where shuttlers train. Currently, with 25 athletes training at the academy, the belief is that those not out because of board and other examinations will rejoin soon. Also Read - Went to All-England Championships 2001 With Zero Expectations: Pullela Gopichand Looks Back at His Historic Feat
“Badminton may be an indoor sport, the air may not be fresh all the time, but we are only as safe or vulnerable as other sports and games are. We cannot get cowed down by the virus by remaining at home, doing nothing. How long can you keep the players cooped up indoors?” Kumar questioned.
“We need to get them away from their mobile phones and convince them that normal badminton routine is a good way to keep all negative thoughts surrounding the virus off their minds. Even otherwise, they need to train regularly to keep themselves fit and match-ready.”