World champion shuttler P V Sindhu believes foreign coaches would be difficult to hire in a post COVID-19 world, presenting former India internationals the opportunity to step forward and fill in the void.
"If the global pandemic continues, bringing coaches from abroad might become difficult, there are a lot of good players in our country who have played at international level, and we can use them in a coaching capacity," Sindhu said on Monday while speaking during an webinar.
The Olympic silver-medallist was addressing the newly-appointed Assistant Directors of the Sports Authority of India through an online session. Sindhu stressed on the importance of parents, coaches, administrators working as a team to build up a champion.
"The administrators must know the journey of every sportsperson. The future of Indian sports lies in the hands of young sports administrators like all of you," she said. "You must visit all the SAI regional centres and be aware of the performances from the players and be in touch with their parents. The parent's involvement is a lot and you need to take feedback from them. This feedback needs to be monitored."
The 24-year-old from Hyderabad also said "players must be continuously tracked to avoid age fraud." "You must also understand how the SAI coaching system works and if athletes are receiving the right diet and supplements at the various centres," she added.
Sindhu also stressed on the need to acknowledge the contributions made by parents in the success of athletes. "Before the Rio Olympics we shifted to the academy. My mother gave up her job to care for me. My father took two years leave from his job," she said.
"The challenge was recovering from the injury I suffered in 2015. I used to sit and play in the academy. I had to play 23 tournaments in a year to even qualify for the Olympics. My father taking leave from his service really helped me. He used to take me to the Railways ground."
Sindhu complimented the government for schemes such as Khelo India for propping up various sports from the grassroot level and urged other organisations to do the same. She also urged budding players to not ignore their studies for a career in badminton. "While you don't need to go to school every day, you must not skip it altogether," she said.