“I would be coaching young athletes at the newly built sports complex in Baroda by the Sports Authority of Gujarat (SAG),” Usha told The Hindu here on Sunday. “I will select the athletes from trials to be conducted at six centres of Gujarat from November 9 to 14.”
She said she was looking forward to the new assignment. “For the past one year, Sandeep Pradhan, the director general of the SAG, had been talking about this proposal,” she said.
“They in Gujarat want something like the Usha School of Athletics in Gujarat. Like we do here, they want to catch them young and train the way they do.”
Usha is impressed with the facilities in Baroda. “I had seen it on my visit to Baroda last year,” she said. “They have all the facilities, including an excellent track.”
She said she saw the offer from Gujarat as an endorsement of the work she and the Usha school had been doing for the last 12 years.
“The school has been winning something like 70 medals at the National level every year,” she said. “I am pleased that there are several promising athletes at the school, ready to follow the footsteps of Tintu Luka and Jessy Joseph. I have high hopes about my girls, like Jishna Mathew, Abitha Mary Manuel and Athulya Udayan.”
A few days ago, Usha was chosen as the best coach in Kerala by the State Government, which declared her as the winner of the G.V. Raja award. “I felt happy that I got the award, though I had not applied for it,” she said. “It is my first award for coaching and therefore felt particularly nice.”