National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand feels that Indian athletes no longer have to worry about the basic facilities that he had to struggle for in his playing days.
"All my life I have struggled to get basic sports facilities. I am glad today's generation don't have to struggle for this. Sports today has great future," Gopichand said on Wednesday at a workshop organised by the Andhra Pradesh government where it declared that the state's future capital Amaravati will be developed as a "world-class sports city" capable of hosting the Olympics.
"We need to ensure that kids taking up sports need to be incentivised so that they can lead a good life. Kids need to learn discipline and sports is fundamental for this. It is not necessary to create champions but to create an environment where everyone- kids and adults- enjoy sports. Remember sports increases a nation's happiness index and improves quality of life," he added.
Speaking on the development of Amaravati as a sports hub, Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Commissioner Sreedhar Cherukuri said the initiative will be completed by 2021.
"We are developing a Sports City in Amaravati which will come in three phases and will comprise of an integrated sports hub spread in 20 acres with an estimated cost of Rs 1,400 crore, a multi-purpose sports stadium, multi-purpose training campus," he said. "Amaravati International Sports Complex, a Rs 60 crore complex, will also be built on 8.9 acres which will revolutionise sports in Andhra Pradesh. Phase I will be ready by 2021," he added.