Here’s an inspiring story of world-renowned Badminton player and coach Pullela Gopichand’s mother – Subbaravamma. Her endless sacrifices resulted in her son’s success.
Doesn’t matter if you love Badminton or not, you must have definitely heard the name of a famous former badminton player and coach Pullela Gopichand. In 2001, he won the All England Open Badminton Championships and became the only second Indian to achieve this milestone after Prakash Padukone. Now, he runs the Gopichand Badminton Academy where he has coached many great players like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap, and many more.
For his exemplary contribution to the field of Badminton, he has been awarded various prestigious awards: Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Dronacharya Award, etc.
Many of us are in awe of the determination and courage of Gopichand. His hard work and determination are definitely the cornerstones of his success. But there are countless sacrifices that PV Gopichand’s father and mother did to ensure India gets their well-celebrated Badminton player and coach.
Though the world has celebrated Gopichand’s success as a player and as a coach, very few know about the endless sacrifices that his parents did, especially his mother – Subbaravamma.
Endless Sacrifices To Turn Her Kid’s Dream Into Reality
It is quite inspiring how mothers turn into warriors to fight against the world to turn their kid’s dream into reality. Gopichand is blessed with one such mother. Mother Subbaravamma is a very determined woman and has had supported her son’s career as a badminton player and as a coach.
In the younger days, it was Gopichand’s mother who made sure that she supports her son in the best way possible.
As a young shuttler, Pullela Gopichand had to struggle for basic amenities. But it was his mother who made sure that she could do her level best to support her son’s dream. Gopichand used to get one shuttle per day from the money saved by his mother.
His mother Subbaravamma used to walk for long distances rather than buying a bus ticket to save Rs 2 so that she could purchase a shuttle for her son.
But, this is just one of an incident that shows how she supported her kid’s dream. When Gopichand dreamt of opening an academy, even then she stood like a rock with him. Gopichand mortgaged his family house to take a loan for his academy and his parents stood by him. And even now, as per sources, his mother Subbavaramma would be at the academy sharp at 8 am to look after his son’s dream project.
Unlike many Indian parents who push their kids to give up on their dreams to follow the social norms, Gopichand both parents were different. While sharing how many relatives thought it was a mistake for Gopi to chose sports over his studies, Gopichand’s mother shared:
“Everybody in our family discouraged us. All my uncles and even my father told us we were making a big mistake. We knew it would be tough to do well in both academics and sport. He could not even attend his BA classes as most of the time he was traveling or playing some tournament or the other. What he did was, he just wrote the exams.”
But, how things turned out for Gopichand is definitely an important lesson for many Indian parents. In one of the interviews, his mother recalled how choosing between sports and studies was a tough decision:
It was a very, very tough decision. In India, it is a very difficult decision. Now, we have no regrets.
As per Sportstar, Gopichand shared how his mother never let him being complacent. It was her desire that pushed him to achieve greater heights. While sharing about his mother’s role in his success, he mentioned:
“My mom means the world to me. She is a huge inspiration and motivates me. A person who pushed me to greater heights. She’s always been the biggest support especially at times when I low or I was complacent. It was her desire that pushed me.
I remember the time when I won the All England Championship (in 2001), I called up her in the night to ask her, “Are you happy now?” Because she was the kind of woman who would never be happy. When I had won the state championship, she had wanted more. When I had won the nationals, she had wanted more. Well, she always wanted more – that really propelled me to heights of excellence in whatever challenge I accepted.
For me, she is the real star”
Though the whole country may be in awe of Gopichand and his success, we would also like to celebrate his selfless father & mother who worked really hard to make their son’s dream a reality.
At I FOR HER, we salute every parent who tries relentlessly to give their kid a better life – a life full of health, happiness, and hope. More power to them!
P.S. Though this article is focused on Gopichand’s mother, that doesn’t mean his father didn’t contribute to his exemplary career. We admire his father and mother equally for their selfless sacrifices.