Saturday, August 24, 2013

Indian Badminton League has a Bidar connection

Johnson Solomon, the physiotherapist for the Hyderabad Hotshots team of The Indian Badminton League, hails from here.

The boy,who grew up playing football in the streets of Bidar old city, has grown to be consultant to celebrity players like Saina Nehwal. He has earlier worked with IPL teams during practice sessions.

“I am looking after the fitness needs of the team members. I also help them with their workouts, and nutrition plans,” Mr. Johnson told The Hindu .

“I was interested in sports from a young age. I played football, volley ball and hockey in school. I represented Norma Fendrich High school in athletics and other sports. But, when I passed Class 12, I had no clear idea about what I would do next,” he said.

He chose to study BSc (Physiotherapy) at Kempe Gowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore. He got his postgraduate degree in 2002.

“However, I could not get a job immediately and I came back to Bidar. I worked as a coach to the NFHS sports team for some time. Then I got an offer to work as an assistant to the physiotherapist at the Sports Authority of India’s centre in Bangalore.”

He worked with cricketing stars such as Javagal Srinath and Venkatesh Prasad. “That was a turning point,” he said. He helped IPL teams during practice sessions in Bangalore.

A few years later, he joined the P. Gopichand Badminton Academy as a full time physiotherapist. He still works with the academy and acts as a consultant during sporting events. He has worked as a consultant to athletes like Harminder Singh who have represented India in Commonwealth Games.

“Mr. Johnson has proven that you can do what you like and achieve success,” S. Neelanjan, a childhood friend and neighbour, said. “He is an example to the youngsters who are obsessed about medicine and engineering and their parents who push them into these professions without considering their tastes,” he added.


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