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“Pickleball comes naturally to me, when played with passion anyone can excel in it…….”

with Shakuntala Devnani

DOB:                      24th December

State:                    Maharashtra

City:                       Mumbai

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.”

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 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  

About Poulomi Kundu

PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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