In a first, Ahmedabad became host to the first-ever Pickleball tournament in the state of Gujarat. Held across two days, the Gujarat Open displayed a galore of sporting talent at the Pavan Pickleball Academy.
Dr Balraj Shukla is a freelance sports writer who experienced Pickleball at Gujarat Open Tournament. Sportsavour is fortunate to have a first-hand write up on Gujarat Open.
Pavan Patel, a US-returned coach laid the foundation of Pickleball in Gujarat. Desperate to make families indulge in this sport and simultaneously improve their physical strength, Pavan channeled all his power in making Gujarat Open tournament a grand success.
Named after him, the Pavan University and its members played a key role in making this tournament a historical one. One of the key members of Pavan University is Narendra Kankaria, owner of S.N. International company. It was within a span of 8 days that Pavan’s team, including Narendra was able to fabricate four extremely scenic pickleball courts.
Brushed in blues and greens, the courts hosted players of various age groups from various cities like Mumbai, Jaipur, Bilwada, etc. The tournament saw singles and doubles matches in the age group categories that were as follows: U-18, U-30 & 30+. The organizers provided the paddles for this particular event.
Held on 29th February & 1st March 2020, the Gujarat Open was graced by the presence of the President of the All India Pickleball Association, Sunil Valavalkar.
“Under Mr Pavan, Gujarat Pickleball is in safe hands,” he said. He further added, “A well organized tournament held on state of the art courts at Ahmedabad. Going forward with the hope that Pavanji will share his expertise to Pan India by respecting the legacy of AIPA to grow Pickleball in every nook and corner of India.”
The smooth sailing of the entire event, the healthy organic food made specially for the athletes, along with the combination of a fun and thrilling atmosphere made Gujarat Open one of its kind. Events like Gujarat Open play a propulsive role in elevating the status of Pickleball in that region.
Checking off Gujarat, through the medium of AIPA, Pickleball has now spread its reach to nearly 50% of the country. Moreover, visionaries like Pavan Patel are the need of the hour for making Pickleball a household name in India. An easy to learn sport and yet a physically demanding one, Pickleball can be a stern test of athleticism which was evident at the Gujarat Open.