Jwala Gutta has always been very vocal about things that she strongly believes in, be it speaking up about how women are treated in sport or even question the way national coach Pullela Gopichand goes about his business.
Gutta believes that Gopichand has a very indifferent attitude to players who don’t train in his academy, something that is very frustrating for those players. Players who represent India need to be assured that they have full backing from their national coach, something that she feels doesn’t happen under Gopichand’s guidance.
One incident that gravely hurt Gutta was when Gopichand did not even congratulate her after he doubles win(with Ponappa) in the Canadian Open in 2015. Gutta was not included in Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme and believes that she not being part of Gopichand’s academy played a huge role in it.
In an interview with Telangana Today recently, she has reiterated her stand on Gopichand and has emphasised that even though she has nothing against Gopichand as a person, the professional differences still remain.
She told the daily that such unprofessional behaviour affected her mental space, something that she feels has affected her international career as a shuttler. She feels that her success at the international level has more to do with her parents, her coach and her friends.
She has also vociferously spoken about how doubles players aren’t given the same treatment and respect as the singles players.
Jwala Gutta has now come up with her own badminton academy to promote the support in all parts of the country. Named ‘Global Academy for Badminton (GAB)’, the academy in partnership with Knock Out Wellness Labs LLP, a sister concern of Franchise India, will be a state-of-the-art coaching centre.
The aim is to scout young talent from schools and set up grass root programmes so as to help youngsters gain the right kind of exposure from a very young age. She says that in her academy equal attention will be given to singles and doubles players.
Gutta is currently on a sabbatical from the sport. She split up with Ashwini Ponappa after the World Championships and shifted her focus to mixed doubles, but hasn’t quite had any success.
It is wonderful that Gutta has come up with her own academy to correct whatever she feels is wrong with the badminton circuit in India and it is only a matter of time that she brings in all the changes that she feels need to be brought into the system