with Shakuntala Devnani
DOB: 24th December
Club: Khar Gymkhana
Shakuntala Devnani is playing Pickleball almost from its induction into the scheme of Khar Gymkhana. In November 2017, the Women Power Empowerment Committee of Khar Gymkhana organised a two-day workshop on Pickleball for the women members of the club. The intention was to introduce a new sport to women through which they can have fun on court. Almost 50 women registered themselves for the programme and they were given first-hand experience by none other than Atul Edward.
“Bela Kotwani and me would play Badminton every Saturday at KG. It was sometime towards the end of 2017 that I came to know that one of the unused Badminton courts was reconstructed to fit in a new sport called Pickleball. Bela was at that time already playing it. She asked me whether I would be interested in playing it. I was encouraged to try my hand at it and I took it immediately.”
To Shakuntala, Pickleball looked like a fun sport that is relatively easy to play. Already being into other racquet sports, she learned the sport quickly.
“Pickleball came naturally to me. It has its own technique but anybody playing it with passion can excel in it. It is a perfect sport for every woman irrespective of her age.”
As women players are increasing in India, it is a heartening scenario. But more workshops and tournaments for women can attract more players towards the sport.
“The players are joining in slowly as women definitely take a little more time in taking up outdoor activities. But encouraging women and creating awareness about the benefits of the game are very important. Pickleball is gradually getting popular and it is a great sign. I am also extremely happy to witness the tremendous progress of Pickleball at Khar Gymkhana.”
- Silver in Women’s Doubles at the 1st AIPA-Sportsavour All Women Pickleball Tournament, 2018
- Gold in Women’s Doubles at 19th Parle Mahotsav, 2018
- Member of the gold-medal winning team at the 1st Women’s Tournament League Format, 2019
- Semi-finalist in Women’s Doubles at 1st JMDYC Open Pickleball Tournament, 2019