Karnataka shuttlers to train at Infosys campus


Bangalore : Karnataka’s badminton team will get a taste of IT hospitality with technology giant Infosys hosting a week-long training camp for them at its Mysore campus from Thursday.

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The badminton facility at the campus has six courts and is part of a modern sporting infrastructure that has impressed former All England champion Prakash Padukone, who is now the director of the Tata Padukone Badminton Academy.

Padukone’s speech during a function at Infosys led to its director of human resources Mohandas Pai inviting his trainees to the campus.

The state team, which includes internationals Anup Sridhar, Trupti Murgunde, Aparna Balan, Ashwini Ponnappa, Nitya Sosale and Aditi Mutatkar, will be at the campus Sep 26.

“Although the invitation was meant for trainees of the academy, we decided to have the state camp there because the state team consists almost entirely of our trainees,” said Vimal Kumar, chief coach at the academy, who finalised the programme when he met Mohandas Pai at a recent athletic event.

The academy has close ties with the state badminton association, having leased five courts and two office rooms at the association-owned K. Raheja Stadium. Vimal is also one of the consultants to the state association.

The camp will prepare the team for the South Zone inter-state championship at Kakinada Sep 28-30. The players will follow their regular training programme, but Vimal and Padukone expect the change of setting to benefit them.

Vimal spoke admiringly of the Infosys campus as a “world-class” sporting facility.

“It’ll be a good break for us to train in Mysore for a while,” he said. “The players will also get to see aspects of our companies that they have never seen before.”

The Padukone Academy arranges a couple of trips each year to help its players and coaches develop a relationship that goes beyond the court – and Padukone foresees promise in the current trip.

“It will help us bond better, because we will be staying together. At Bangalore, once the sessions are over, we return to our homes. The idea is to train in a different ambience,” Padukone said.

“We’d like to do this more often – maybe twice a year. The change in training atmosphere will be good for the players,” he added.