PANAJI: Goa Badminton Association has justified the participation of players from Khelo India Centre of Excellence at Campal, saying this will local players to diverse playing styles and push them to perform at a higher intensity.
Goa Badminton Association (GBA) Secretary Sandeep Heble issued a statement on the participation of players from Khelo India Centre of Excellence at Campal
“In its second year, the Goa Government in its wisdom and as part of its policy invited outstation players to the Khelo India Centre of Excellence in Badminton, Table Tennis and Swimming. The thought process is to increase the pool of talent available for training and competition, thereby exposing local players to diverse playing styles and pushing them to perform at higher intensity,” he said.
Heble says the GBA President and Secretary were invited to the meeting where they gave their consent.
“We have seen how our own players such as Tanisha Crasto and Anura Prabhu Desai in badminton, or Wesley Do Rosario, Aaron Farias and Anshuman Agarwal in Table Tennis flourished after training in outstation academies, where they got to practice against players of equitable skills and talents,” he said.
Heble says these experiences equipped them with valuable skills and exposure, enabling them to perform better on the national as well as international stage.
“In recent times, we saw how Lakshya Sen too flourished with his game reaching the next level after training alongside Viktor Axelsen and other World class players in Dubai,” he added.
In the first year when the centre was restricted to Goa players only, many good players left as there was not enough pool of other talents to match their skills, the GBA secretary says.
“In the long run, playing alongside players of equal talent and stature will be highly beneficial for the overall growth of badminton and other sports in Goa. When Goa players interact and compete with players at a similar level, they will learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, fostering a supportive and progressive environment,” he said. Heble says the Parents in Goa fear that their children will lose opportunities due to the inclusion of outstation players.
However, he added, a balanced approach can ensure that a significant proportion of Goa players will still get selected for national and zonal events.
This balanced approach protects the interests of local players while providing them with a chance to grow alongside talented players from outside the state and perform better in the National arena as well.
“In badminton, the players have been permitted to play in State Ranking Tournaments as they have complied with the transfer rules, are pursuing their education in Goa and have produced NOCs from their respective State Associations. Many outstation players who have entered Goa to study in BITS of GIM, or GEC have participated earlier, so why target the Khelo India players, who too have taken their school admission in Goa? While few issues in Table Tennis are there due to large proportion of outstation players who have been enrolled, this is not so in Badminton,” he said.
He said all top players have been selected in the West Zone Team and are on the verge of being selected for the Nationals as well, so he sees no major issue as far as badminton is concerned.
“In fact, the participation of Khelo India players has enriched the competition at our tournaments and is driving our players to perform better,” he stated.