Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said it was not sensible to follow the western model blindly to produce world beaters and Olympic champions. Speaking at a webinar conducted by SAI-LNCPE on Thursday, Gopichand said the Western model was expensive and impractical in a country like India.

The former All-England champion said there was a need to promote sports which are fundamentally Indian. “In the western model you need to spend around $10,000 each year on an athlete which is phenomenally expensive. For example, you can’t build indoor stadiums everywhere for the kids to play basketball or 50m pools for them to learn swimming. But we can do a lot by promoting local sports and our culture.

“I feel sports like wrestling, hockey, yoga, kho kho and tennikoit which are fundamentally imbibed in our culture should be given a preference over others,” he said.

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