Indian badminton player and Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jwala Gutta cautioned parents against the practice of age fraud. Gutta was speaking at the prize distribution ceremony of the Pune District Ranking Mini Open Badminton Tournament, organised by Dhanya Nayar’s BadmintoNAIR at Kharadi Sunday.
The doubles specialist player said, “Age fraud is a common practice. The child may not realise but something like this is done to them, which is wrong. Remember, it is never the child who changes the date of birth. The parents and coaches do. Shortcuts don’t take you anywhere. You need to look yourself in the mirror. Need to do the correct things. Children observe what their parents do.”
Jwala said she came from Hyderabad to support her former teammate and fellow player Dhanya. She said academies by former players will help the sport find a proper structure. “Academies like BadmintoNair are very important for the growth of the sport. We are a country of 130 crore people and there are not enough academies for so many players. Every player is unique in his or her own way and such academies will help young players take their game further. I came here to support Dhanya in her venture and at the same time, I wanted to tell young parents that sport is not just a ‘time pass’ activity. It can be taken seriously and professionally. Sports is not just a good habit, it is also a very respectable profession now,” she said.
She also gave advice to the parents of budding players present at the function. “Sports teaches how to deal with failures as well as victories. It teaches children to be independent. I would advice parents to make children more independent and trust their coaches and themselves,” she added.
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