Isha, Yendala bag honours

115 coaches graduate from SAI South Centre

Isha, Yendala bag honours

International hockey player Yendala Soundarya and Isha Chopra were the pick of the 115 students who graduated in diploma course in sports coaching at the SAI South Centre here on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Soundarya was named the Outstanding Sportsperson of the batch, while Isha walked away with the Best Student of the Year title.

“This is something I always wanted to do,” said Isha, a former national-level tennis player. “Being associated with the game, I found a need to have good coaches at the grassroot level. I was working with a software firm till 2011. It was then the federation (All India Tennis Association) offered me the job of a development officer. I have worked with the Asian Tennis Federation and the AITA. In 2014 I left that job and decided to involve myself in grassroot training.

“I run an academy in Haryana now. But then this happened and I had to come here. I don’t want to restrict myself to the academy. I am willing to move to places.”

Soundarya, who last played for India at the South Asian Games last year, is keen to contribute to the Indian team.

“See, when you look at the current situation, a number of coaches are coming from outside for our teams. I think, unless we players don’t take interest in getting into coaching, this is not changing,” she reasoned.

“As guys who have played at the highest level, we know what modern hockey demands and we have an advanced knowledge of the game. We need that to change the trend of foreign coaches in India.”

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