How shuttle game uncorked Basak's potential

focus on sports talent

Avi Basak has been sweeping titles in his category in the last few months.

Sport has been a big part of Avi Basak’s life. Growing up, he was into athletics, football and basketball, but it was badminton that unlocked his true potential.

“I started playing just for fun,” recalled Avi, a student of Delhi Public School, Whitefield. “My parents would take me to the badminton court in our community. I used to play many sports that time but my interest grew in badminton.”

His parents Soumen Basak and Shweta Saraswat, both graduates from IIT Bombay, gauged this interest his early, and upon the advice of Arjuna awardee and badminton coach Anup Sridhar at a summer camp, decided give serious thought to his training. Avi’s younger brother Aarav is also a budding shuttler.

“We went for a summer camp and Anup after seeing them, both my sons Avi and Aarav, said that we should seriously consider giving them serious training. That’s when we decided to put them in real and systematic training,” said Soumen.

But it wasn’t until he joined I-Sports and started training at Feather Smash Arena under coach Yashu Kumar that the 12-year-old Avi’s talent really started to blossom. “We started working on improving all corners. Right from his strokes, movement, strengthening and fitness, whatever was needed to make him a champion this year,” revealed Yashu. “Last year, he made it to the quarterfinals in the under-13 section. It was a big break for us. From thereon, he started winning the tournament one after the other,” he added.

Avi truly has made the category his own. He’s won the title at the recently-concluded State Badminton championship in Davanagere. The young shuttler achieved the same feat at the Ramaiah Rajan Memorial State-ranking tournament in June. Before that in the same month, he claimed gold in the Shishir Kittur Memorial State-ranking tournament.

Such consistency requires a lot a work and dedication and Avi trains twice a day to ensure it happens. “School has given us a little flexibility. So, I don’t have to go to school every day. That gives me the time to practice in the morning and evenings,” Avi said.

His parents also ensure that he is not left behind in his studies. “We take care of his studies at home. His mother basically teaches him some subjects and I take care of the rest. We get notes periodically from his teachers and his class-mates,” Soumen said.

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