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“Pickleball is a perfect sport for women; we are trying to build a strong women’s team in Bihar…..”….”

with Ranjan Gupta

DOB:              1st January 1971

State:             Bihar

City:               Patna

“Pickleball is not only a game, it is a life changer. I will give 10 out of 10 to Pickleball.”

Ranjan Gupta, the Secretary of Bihar Pickleball Association, feels that Pickleball is a game that inspires to do something different in life. It is a ‘Mantra’- the number of times it is chanted; double the number it fills our mind with freshness and energy.

“Gauri Shankar who is the Secretary of Bihar Ball Badminton first introduced me to the game of Pickleball. He explained me the rules and requested me to take the charge of Pickleball in Bihar. Then we asked a friend of ours, Rajkumar Nirala, who lives in Mumbai to find out more about the game. He assured us that the game has huge potential and we should start it in Bihar. This is how we got this game in our state.”

Ranjan Gupta (centre) at Bangkok Open 2017

In 2013, when All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) conducted the first national tournament, they invited Bihar to be a part of the tournament. But till then there was neither a fixed team nor team members in Bihar Pickleball. They just played for fun.

“But we thought why we should not try. My experience in Ball Badminton helped me to get some players. I chose four players from Magadha Mahila College of Patna and trained them in Pickleball. But there were no male players. So I chose to put myself as a player along with my brother and nephew. Thus a team of 7 players represented Bihar in the 1st National Pickleball Tournament held in Mumbai.”

Sport always motivates people. It inspires us to do something different in life. Ranjan Gupta cherishes his association with Pickleball not just because it is a sport but more because it is an unknown sport. Like Ball Badminton, it is a challenge to grow Pickleball in India. And this is what seems to be the most exciting part for Ranjan Gupta.

Ranjan Gupta given guard of honour during the inauguration of National Pickleball Tournament 2018

“In Bihar, there are 5 districts where Pickleball is played now. We are trying our best to spread this game to other districts. Next is we have to make a strong women’s team because I feel this is a perfect sport for every woman.”

Ranjan Gupta is well aware about the status of Indian sports, especially the lesser-popular sports. He has been involved with sports administration quite for sometime. So he exactly knows where Pickleball in India stands today.

“In recent years there has been a growth of Indian sports. Many sportsperson are coming up with encouraging results and noticeable performances. But still there is a long way to go. In case of Pickleball, it has till now reached to only 12 states with active participation from only 5-6 states. To promote this new sport, there should be a perfect co-ordination between the national and the state bodies. We as administrators, have to be lot more responsible and selfless. We should remember that this game is not of me or of anybody, it is the game of the people. A strong, collective and calm approach is needed from all the administrators to grow this sport in India.”    

About Poulomi Kundu

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