Vimal Kumar: We have taken the step which other European countries did in 70s, 80s
Vimal Kumar: We have taken the step which other European countries did in 70s, 80s

With the brightest of palette of talent emerging in broadest spectrum of games, Indian sports canvas is changing colours, for good. Although, it has been a late entrant into the modern day sports, making a winning bid is something which has been long due, this is what the former national badminton coach and the live wire of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, based in Bangalore, Vimal Kumar feels.

He has been finally recognised by the government for his contribution for the game after being one of the awardee of Dronacharya Award this year. Better late than never, it has come true for this MBA-turned-badminton- coach from Kerala.

Awards are a recognition. It should not be something you always seek, something that has to be bestowed on you in recognition of your efforts, is his philosophy if one could go by what is said above. Vimal Kumar won the Indian National title consecutively for two years, 1988 and 1989. He also served as Chief National Coach of India.

For this two-time national champion, it is a payback time for the sport which has given him the longed-bymany status in the society. The 56-year-old gave up an MBBS seat to pursue a career in badminton court and his dedication and passion for the game has paid off.

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There have been many players who have cherished by the substantial efforts he has put in nurturing young talents— Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu being among them. “Indian sports is on the rise as we have taken the step which the other European countries did in the 70s and 80s.

I am sure days are not far when we Indians will make an impact worldwide,” said Kumar, after PV Sindhu emerged as the champion of champions winning the WBF World Badminton Championship in Switzerland recently.

Applauding government’s move to modify and improve infrastructure in the country, Kumar said, “ We are proud of having the best of the infrastructure in India. Going abroad for the same to benefit our games is slowly becoming a history.

Also, with the corporate world moving in, sports is slowly becoming a career sort option for the youngsters. Professional leagues wherein foreign players are making a beeline into our country is a great sign of what is sports is all about late in India.

“There is no doubt about the fact that it was cricket which had first sown the seed (with an international element) by bringing in Indian Premier League. And today we have such leagues in many sports; from kabaddi to football, hockey and many other games. This is a good sign,” believes Kumar.

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