Ace shuttler and Arjuna awardee Jwala Gutta is all set to add another feather to her hat. The Hyderabadi has been appointed a member of the governing body of Sports Authority of India (SAI).
SAI Secretary SS Chhabra, while addressing a letter to Jwala, stated: “It is my pleasure to inform you that you have been appointed as the member of Governing Body of SAI. I am sure you would be able to spare your valuable time to attend Governing Body meetings as and when scheduled by the chairman.”
An elated Gutta, India’s most successful doubles specialist, told TOI, “The appointment letter reached me on March 14 and it came as an absolute surprise to me. I am very happy, of course, and I want to do whatever I can to for the betterment of women sportspersons in the country.”
Along with Gutta, shooter Gagan Narang and retired IAS officer BV Papa Rao have been included in the newly constituted Governing Body where they will be responsible to look closely into sporting affairs in the country.
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Yes, the 14-time feisty national champion is determined to be the flag-bearer for women in sports.
According to News18, Gutta shared her happiness saying, “I am really excited to be appointed as a member of SAI governing body. I have always wanted to do something for sports. It is for the betterment and development of sports and I am really looking forward to it.”
I want to work for the betterment of women sportspersons in the country – Jwala Gutta
So when is she taking up her responsibility? Gutta said, “The first meeting will be held on March 28 in Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in New Delhi and I am really looking forward to it. I don’t yet know the details of my responsibilities but I will do my best.”
The star shuttler joined hands with the SAI after the Rio Olympics in 2015. She says, “It is definitely a kind of vindication. But my grouse wasn’t with the SAI specifically; it was with the way Badminton Authority of India had handled the situation.”
“Women sportspersons are discriminated against in our country. They don’t get the best facilities nor are they treated as equals with the men. That needs to change as we all saw that it was the women who brought home the laurels from the Rio Olympics. So that will be my focus,” the player said.
Jwala Gutta has made India proud by winning many medals at the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Uber Cup. She is a two-time Olympian and has a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championship. She also made a mark in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and 2014 Glasgow Games in women’s doubles.
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