Gopichand to mentor Physical Education teachers, calls the programme 'game-changer'

Gopichand to mentor Physical Education teachers, calls the programme 'game-changer'

AHMEDABAD: Badminton legend and celebrated coach Pullela Gopichand on Thursday launched 'train the trainers' programme here inducting 1500 Physical Education (PE) teachers from across Gujarat for advanced training.

'Train the trainers' is a not-for-profit initiative envisioned by ELMS Sports Foundation. It is aimed at developing the skills of PE teachers which will in turn benefit their students.

Former All-England champion Gopichand and India's lone Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra have been appointed to oversee the programme and will serve as mentors.

"This is the largest skill development programme at the grassroots level. It will impact over 45,000 children every year and change the physical literacy and sports knowledge in schools in Gujarat,” Gopichand said, in a video message at the launch of the event. "This is a game-changer but is just the first step. We intend to start similar programmes in other states too soon."

As per the plan, Gopichand and his band of experts will first select around 150 PE teachers out of the 1500 to become master trainers. Those selected will attend a week-long workshop in which they will learn all the modern sports techniques; thereafter, they will impart the same to other teachers across the state in a planned and phased manner.

"All this will be done under our supervision so that nothing is lost in translation," Gopichand explained.

Gopichand called for the active participations of schools in developing a sports culture in the country. "If schools play an active role in promoting sports, it will see an increase participation among students and will spread a sports culture," he said. "Of course, if their kids do well in competitions, the schools will gain popularity. Plus there are other perks like getting various sports equipment from the government," he added.

The programme is looking at all-round development in sports, targeting the PE teachers, the students and the schools. “We want sports development through education and this means impart systematic and basic knowledge in sports to children,” Vita Dani, one of the promoters of the initiative said. "We will ensure that they get to participate in competitions like the Khelmahakumbh, the SGFI and the DLSS among others," she added.