with Om Kubal
DOB: 19th March 1996
“I never make time for sports; it is my day to day life. I eat, sleep and repeat sports. It is like morning Shooting, afternoon Coaching, evening Pickleball and night Chess. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are my breaks.”
Om Kubal is just 23, but being young did not stop him from doing some big tasks. A national-level shooter who has won every competition medal in Shooting at domestic level is a successful coach. Om has his own range, Lakshwavedh Shooting Range, which he started with his three friends in an area of 1000 sq. ft. at Vikhroli in Mumbai. The primary intention for this set up was to make people aware about Shooting being an Olympic sport which can yield great result if someone seriously practice it.
“As a sport enthusiast I always loved to learn and explore more about different kinds of sports. Once I went for a Shooting competition at Parle Mahotsav in Mumbai. There I found that entries are being taken for a sport called Pickleball. The name attracted me towards it. Later I thought to know more about the sport and to write about it. So I tried to find out every possible way of getting in touch with people related to Pickleball. I got a contact number from internet and on the other side of the phone was Sunil Valavalkar sir. He instantly invited me for a demo at one of the schools. That was my start with Pickleball.”
Following that first demonstration programme, Om Kubal attended other programmes as well. He became a regular in Pickleball circuit to learn more about the game. He found that Pickleball is a very tempting sport that makes one play on and on once there is a paddle in hand.
“Pickleball has reached many states and cities of India, so I think it is not an unknown sport. What is needed is sharing the knowledge of Pickleball wherever we go. Then only it can become popular. But there also lies the problem. Sometimes people don’t want to experiment and has a sceptical attitude towards a new sport. I, as a promoter of this sport, often find it difficult to make place for Pickleball in many venues. But here lies the challenge.”
Om Kubal accepted this challenge. The young brain in him took the best decision of forming an association to bring in a definite way of spreading the sport among the people. With full support from All India Pickleball Association, Om became instrumental in forming the Picklball Association of Mumbai City.
“I thought of forming the Mumbai City Association because district associations are very much needed to legitimately spread Pickleball in the society. Once there is a formal association, it becomes easier to reach more people, various institutes and other entities. It is an approach of building the society in whatever little way I can do. Just as I have the knowledge about this sport, every other eager person has the right to know about it. As I am well equipped to spread the knowledge, I feel it is my duty to share it with other people. ”
Om Kubal has some specific plans to spread Pickleball in his area. Very soon he wants to arrange a district competition. But he is presently concentrating more on demonstration programmes.
“More demonstrations at public places, parks, schools, malls and residential buildings are needed to be done. NGOs and corporate sectors are also our target. These are the ways we are planning to spread Pickleball.”