Hyderabad: The Gaudium Athletic Track & the First Edition of the Gaudium Sportopia Athletics Annual Meet, being jointly hosted by the Gaudium Sportopia, Hyderabad District Athletic Association and the Khel Udaan initiative, was formally inaugurated by Chief Guest Shri Jayesh Ranjan, President, Telangana Olympic Body, on Saturday at the sprawling 27-acre campus of The Gaudium institution which houses The Gaudium School Sportopia and Artopia. Also present on the occasion was National Badminton Coach and Guest of Honor Padma Bhushan Pulella Gopichand; Mr Rajesh, President, Hyderabad District Athletic Association; Mr Ramesh, Dronacharya Awardee and Athletic Coach at Telangana Sports Authority of India; Ms Kirthi Reddy, Director, The Gaudium and Mr Ramakrishna Reddy, President, Gaudium Sportopia.
Over 350 students from across various Schools in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy District are participating in the one-day Annual Athletics Meet. The competitions are being held in the categories of 30M Run and Standing Broad Jump for below 8 years-Boys and Girls; 50M Run, Standing Broad Jump and Basketball Throw for below 10 years-Boys and Girls; 60M Run, 300M Run and 600M Run for below 12 years Boys and Girls; 60M Run, 300M Run and 600M Run for under 14 years Boys and Girls; 100M Run, 400M Run, Long Jump and 1 KM Run for under 16 Boys and Girls; 100M Run, 400M Run, Long Jump and 2 KM Run for Seniors Boys and Girls and 1KM Run for veterans both Men and Women above 40 years of age.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Jayesh Ranjan said, I congratulate Gaudium institution for setting up such a wonderful facility. In fact, there are hundreds and hundreds of schools in Hyderabad and many of them do have a sports ground or some sports facility, but when you visit them, you realize they have set that up to fulfil some formality, the education department requires them to have some facility, otherwise the school will not be recognized that’s why they set it up. But what we see here is absolutely amazing, it’s very different, the intention is not just to comply with some formality but to create excellent infrastructure, world class infrastructure which will motivate children and students to take up sports in a very structured and organized way, the foundation you laid is a positive sign to the great thing that are going to happen here. I understand they have thirty Coaches and instructors, I have not come across any School giving such high priority to sports and this can spur international standard sportsmen evolving from here. On behalf of the Government and the Olympic Association, we would like to collaborate, partner and support these kinds of initiatives.
Mr Pullela Gopichand said, “It’s great to have Gaudium come out with this beautiful facility and such a magnificent concept, this is a world-class infrastructure, a first of its kind infrastructure in a school and the country needs to emulate this. I congratulate the entire Gaudium Sportopia team for not only dreaming of something grand as this but also putting it into practice. This facility will not only benefit the students but also the professional athletes coming from other parts of the country. Sportopia is an initiative that aims to balance quality education with good sports by providing the best of infrastructure and coaching to young children. The science behind the efforts and the teaching makes it the destination of choice. Khel Udaan is an initiative that aims to foster the spirit of sports and build better human beings of children. This athletics meet is a good platform for children and others to start off on this journey. He advised the kids to give their best shot, ensure win or lose doesn’t matter and come back next time with renewed vigor and better timings.”
Ms. Kirthi Reddy said “We are extremely delighted at Shri Jayesh Ranjan and Shri P Gopichand coming to our facility and inaugurating the Gaudium Athletic Track & the First Edition of the Gaudium Sportopia Athletics Annual Meet. We are seeing lot of participation and activity in our facility and it’s a very exciting beginning for Gaudium Sportopia. Sports is very critical for the healthy lifestyle of today’s generation. It is not just about winning medals or awards. It inculcates the key attributes of discipline, practice and goal setting. It also builds a healthy lifestyle which is so required in these times.”
Mr Ramakrishna Reddy said, “Gaudium Sportopia is a unique concept, normally education is the priority at school level, but here we are giving equal importance to sports and arts. The reason being every kid has an innate talent in a specific activity and we want them to be encouraged in that area of their interest. We can support and finetune them in that specific activity and enable them to excel. At Gaudium Sportopia we have established 20 Centers of Excellence in varied sports, these Centre are in accordance with the gold standard, Olympic standard and their respective Federation standards. In our Country after the sportsman reaches a particular level, often they lack the superior sports infrastructure to train and raise their competence to match the international standards. They are compelled to go abroad to gain that expertise, to arrest that and facilitate sportsmen to train here, we have established facilities of such high standards. Sportspersons no more need to go abroad; we have all the facilities here. We are getting excellent support especially from Mr Gopichand, he is been our first mentor and for badminton he uses this as an extension to his Academy, that has become a benchmark to how we run this facility. We are replicating those standards for other sports Centers and improving them too. Today we are hosting the First Edition of the Gaudium Sportopia Athletics Annual Meet, we will conduct this every year henceforth, we hope to invite some national level athletes from across the country in the next edition. Sports and education need to be integrated in a much more holistic manner; sports can no longer remain an ‘extra-curricular’ activity. Sports not just helps build life skills but also builds character and personality. It also makes education more fun and enjoyable. Developing a healthy competitive spirit is the need of the hour. Through this Gaudium Sportopia Athletics Annual Meet we hope to instill this spirit and help children raise their bar.”
About Gaudium Sportopia
With the mission of sculpting happy minds, Gaudium Sportopia is India’s first-ever sports excellence school developed by Hyderabad’s premier international school, The Gaudium. Promoted by Ms Kirthi Reddy, who belongs to the Promoter Group of Aurobindo Pharma Limited, one of the top 5 Indian Pharma Companies, Gaudium Sportopia aims to revolutionize the way the sporting ecosystem is run in schools.
With India’s most successful Olympic coach, Pullela Gopichand on board as one of its advisors, the school is looking to bring together India’s Olympians and eminent coaches to train the budding talents. Out of a mammoth total investment of 180 crores INR, 45 cr will go into building 25+ sports fully equipped academies on close to 20 acres of land dedicated to indoor and outdoor sports. Here are a few sports to name which are currently operational:
BWF Standard 8 Badminton Courts; IAAF Standard 400 mts Athletic Track; FIFA Standard Football Field; FIBA Standard Basketball Court; WSF Standard 2 Squash Courts; FIDE Standard Chess Arena; TTFI Standard Table Tennis Arena; FIG Standard Gymnastics Arena and 25 Mts Skating Rink. The facilities which are in pipeline are ICC Standard Cricket Ground; ITF Standard 3 Tennis Courts; 25 Mts Semi Olympic Size Swimming Pool; High Performance Centre and 14 more upcoming sports.