National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Tuesday stated that the current athlete-centric model of funding does not benefit the sport. He suggested that the model should look to fund groups of players rather than individuals in the aim is to produce more champions in the coming years.
Gopichand made this suggestion while addressing an online session organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the newly-appointed Assistant Directors of the body.
“All present models are athlete-centric, they don’t benefit the sport as a whole. They benefit individual athletes. We should look at funding a group rather than individual athletes,” he said. (via PTI)
“The structure should throw up champions. The level of competition should be so high, that they become world-class without them even knowing. The number 2 and number 3 should be constantly pushing the number 1.”
Speaking on the significance of the coaches in the sporting ecosystem, Gopichand opined: “You want people to be on-field, you want them to work as coaches … (however) as time goes by, a lot of people want to become mentors and administrators and they don’t want to continue coaching.
“As administrators I want you to be aware, of who are putting in the effort and who are remotely managing.
“Most successful models worldwide are coach-driven, sports science and athlete-driven. People working on the field should be the decision-makers.”
“We need to find small pockets where not only training is world-class but competition is also world-class. Internal competition is what will make people strive to get better,” he said.
The 46-year-old emphasised on the need for sports administrators to adopt a more holistic approach towards the development of the players.
“Administrators should look at being innovative and ensuring the holistic development of the athlete, and we should see that development happening all through. The champion will last longer if there is a more holistic approach,” said Gopichand.