Ace shuttler Jwala Gutta has said that she wouldn’t mind a healthy competition forming between national coach Pullela Gopichand’s academy and her new project — the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence — in Hyderabad. Jwala’s academy is set up on a 55-acre land near Gachibowli and is family funded.
She was once India's doubles and mixed doubles mainstay, but the 36-year-old has moved on from the playing field to launch her dream project on Tuesday. If her competition during her playing days came against Saina Nehwal, her academy in Hyderabad will compete with Gopichand's badminton academy in terms of results and performance.
"Let there be two academies. I believe in healthy competition and so be it. During my playing days, people would say Jwala is competing with Saina Nehwal. Yes, let me say this, I was competing with Saina to deliver better results. For that, I had to work harder every day. So, if people think that my academy is the second option, I wouldn't mind it. If admissions are full in Gopichand's academy, come to my academy. I want badminton to become healthy and fair. It shouldn't be like there's only one academy in India," Jwala told TOI.
Jwala also noted that while Gopichand's academy receives financial assistance from the government under the national sports development fund (NSDF), she was forced to depend on her own family’s money to set up the facility.
"For the last 7-8 years, I was looking to raise funds, but no help came from the state government. Finally, I had to use my father's retirement fund and sold off a property. This academy is on a leased land and situated on a school premises. It's been a very difficult journey and I am still struggling for sponsors. I was born to fight it out till the end and I will continue to do so," Jwala added.