with PRASHANT KALANI
DOB: 22nd July, 1990
Club: Rajasthan Pickleball Association
Prashant Kalani had an indulgence towards sport from his childhood. He and his friends were often spotted playing Cricket, Football, Basketball or Tennis in local clubs and fields. But as they grew up, academic pressure and later professional life scattered them and the friends longed to reunite.
“Time flew and some of my friends went for higher studies. Some of us stayed together but had little time to play. And when we got time to play there was shortage of players. During that phase, I saw Pickleball being played at Vidhyadhar Nagar Stadium and was enjoyed by the players. It was 2013 and that was the first time I heard about the game. Since then I am playing it regularly.”
Pickleball is a game that is easy to learn but is hard to master. Prashant Kalani found the game easy initially but as he continued he found that it requires a lot of energy and patience. So, one has to be physically as well as mentally fit.
“Pickleball became my life savior when I really needed a sport to take care of my health. I am not a gym guy and this game kept me fit for the last 6 years.”
But Pickleball has not only given the much-needed fitness to Kalani, it has also given him some friends for life. Apart from his medals in national and international-level tournaments, he has achieved a platform to know more people and interact with different players.
“The game has given me an opportunity to know people outside my city and their commitment for the game. It has also stimulated me to do the best when on the court. I really enjoy the heat, the nervousness, the intensity during matches. All these help me to evolve more.”
Prashant Kalani might be a sober person off the court but he is quite attacking on the court. For this he is very particular about his gears.
“I always play with my Selkirk graphite paddle as it suits me best. I have been playing with it for the last 3 years. But sometimes I also play with Prolite Supernova because it is a special paddle for me.”
The future of Pickleball lies in the hands of young players like Prashant. It is they who have to take the responsibility to promote the game. By profession, Kalani works as a Quality Inspector in Food Corporation of India. But he is ready to give the sport his best.
“My future plan is to encourage new players to take the game. At the same time I have to increase my level. These two are my motto now.”
Gold in Men’s Doubles at 1st Senior National Tournament in 2014
Gold in Men’s Doubles at 2nd Senior National Tournament in 2015
Silver in Men’s Doubles at 4th National Senior Tournament in 2017
Silver in Men’s Doubles at 5th National Senior Tournament in 2018
Bronze in Men’s Doubles at Federation Cup
Gold in Men’s Doubles at 1st Indian Open in 2017