Gopichand became only the second Indian to win the All England Open Badminton Championhips in 2001 after Prakash Padukone.
Indian Badminton legend Pullela Gopichand was brought in as the brand ambassador and advisor to a Delhi-based sports management start-up called Hudle on Wednesday. The announcement came a few months after the company also announced the signing of the Indian cricket team’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Pullela said that the company had perfectly capitalized on badminton’s uniqueness to make it accessible to everyone. He also said that he was excited to unlock new opportunities.
“Badminton has huge potential to become a sport for the masses. It requires fewer playing partners and can be played in limited space. When I met the Hudle team I realised that they had perfectly capitalised on this uniqueness about the sport by using technology to make it accessible to everyone. I am very excited to be on-board and help them unlock new opportunities,” Gopichand said.
Company founder and CEO Suhail Narain said that he was Gopichand was a perfect fit for the organisation since he transformed the game in India. Narain also said that he was excited to bring the idea of a recreational sport to a wider audience.
“Badminton is the most frequently played sport among recreational players and having a legend like Pullela Gopichand on board is a perfect fit for Hudle. He has transformed badminton in India and symbolises dependability and perfection, which is what Hudle stands for. We are very excited to grow the idea of recreational sports and take it to a wider audience through this partnership,”: he said.
Suhail Narain’s assessment of Gopichand is near accurate. Gopichand did transform the game in the country during his playing years, winning several international and national accolades for his consistent performances. He is also currently the Chief National Coach for the Indian National Badminton Team.
Gopichand became the second Indian in history to win the All England Open Badminton Championships. The only person to have achieved the feat before him is Prakash Padukone. He is also a former Olympian.
Gopichand’s trophy cabinet has is one that players across the country can be envious of. He won bronze in the 2000 Asian Championships and the 1998 Commonwealth Games, and the runner-up in the 1997 Indian Open, the 1999 French Open and the 1999 German Open.
He was the winner of the 2001 All England Open, the 1999 Le Volant d’Or de Toulouse, the 1999 Scottish Open, the 1999 India International and the 2004 India Asian Satellite.
Gopichand has also received several national awards like the Arjuna Award in 1999, the Dronacharya Award in 2009 and the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 2014.