Hyderabad, Nov 6 (IANS) Indias first residential, fully integrated, world class high-performance sports school Gaudium Sportopia launched its own cricket academy on Wednesday in collaboration with Gen-Next Cricket Institute that is mentored by Ravichandran Ashwin.
With the ace spinner present on the day of the launch, it was a dream come true for the students at the academy to play with one of the finest cricketers in the world. Ashwin bowled in an exhibition match with the kids that gave them an early taste of playing against the world’s best.
“We have already activated five academies so far including the badminton academy. All of these have received a huge response after such great champions have come on board to guide the young sporting minds. I am equally confident that this latest collaboration with Ravichandran Ashwin and Gen-Next Cricket Institute will create a new roadmap for producing champions for the future,” said Kirthi Reddy, Director & Founder of The Gaudium School and Gaudium Sportopia.
Being possibly the only active cricketer to have an academy, Ashwin’s acumen to understand the game has been praiseworthy, something that is reflected in his plethora of records. In his 66-match Test career, the 33-year-old is the fastest Indian to scalp 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350 wickets.
Ashwin’s passion for coaching and his determination to strengthen India’s future has led to GenNext being one of the finest cricket academies in India with multiple branches in Chennai, inspiring school partnerships in Dubai as well. Gaudium Sportopia will look to emulate GenNext’s well-designed three signature programmes — Weekend, Vision 20 and High-Performance Centre.
“GenNext Institute and I are very delighted to be associated with Gaudium Sportopia. I always believe that excellent infrastructure and innovative techniques from a young age makes a lot of difference and Gaudium Sportopia is one such place who is truly out to change the entire sporting ecosystem of the country by exposing the kids to some of the finest facilities. I am looking forward to seeing some of these promising youngsters take India to even greater heights in the future,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.
“Ashwin’s discipline is unparalleled. He is a great student of the game and his understanding of the sport is phenomenal. Ashwin being active at the international level, can bring in the latest training methods being employed by other teams. He is adept at both the versions of the game and there could not have been a better guide to help the students to pick up the nuances of both formats. His handy contribution with the willow too makes him the best choice to mould the budding talents at Gaudium Sportopia into champions,” said Prasad Mangipudi, Mentor, Gaudium Sportopia.
Gaudium Sportopia is looking at a total investment of Rs 180 cr to build 25 + specialized sports academies by 2020. They have already announced their association with Pullela Gopichand’s Badminton Gurukul Centre of Excellence in August and also brought table tennis coach S. Raman and top chess coach RB Ramesh on board last month.
Gaudium Sportopia is targeting to be fully operational by 2020. With 600 student capacity hostels, a high-performance centre and a high-end gym, it will look to encourage kids to pursue the sport of their choice as well as education under a single roof through its Professional Sports Career Program — a first for India.