with Bela Kotwani
DOB: 9th May 1966
Club: Khar Gymkhana
Bela Kotwani proudly announces, “Age is just a number if you have the passion and drive to excel”. And why not? Bela started playing Pickleball at 52 and instantly had a liking for it.
“Winning at the age of 53 gives you a different high altogether.”
Bela Kotwani has always been a lover of sport. She played Tennis, Table Tennis and Badminton in her school days. But once her college started, the focus moved from sports and after college she entered into her professional life.
“I did my teacher’s training course and was teaching in one of the most reputed schools in Mumbai. But to start something on my own I resigned from school and took a break for one year. This is when I first heard of Pickleball. As a member of Khar Gymkhana I got an opportunity to attend a free trial session of Pickleball at KG organised by the Women Empowerment Committee. I realised that it’s an easy sport. Once you know the rules and if you have played any racquet sport, this game is very easy to pick up.”
Since then Bela has been playing and enjoying the sport. She is the one who has read this game very fast. It is fun to her yet competitive enough. She also admits that, though she is in her middle ages yet the game has helped her to learn lifeskills.
“This game has taught me patience. Still a long way to go but I have learnt that hitting the ball hard is not the key to winning the point but waiting for the right chance and then hitting or placing the ball is what one has to learn. You have to keep your cool in tournaments and not get stressed. I always try to play this game very fairly.”
Bela Kotwani falls in that category of players who do not hesitate to appreciate their opponents. Acknowledging her fellow competitors always stands out while she plays in tournaments.
“I believe in playing in a friendly manner because I feel that this sport is a great help for community development. I have made so many friends after joining Pickleball. We are a family now.”
Bela’s age or her weight has never caused any obstacle. She manages to compete with girls much younger than her and perhaps this helps her to keep going. Though being the Principal of Cosmikids International, Bela finds out regular time to play Pickleball.
“I would love to represent India at the international level in 50 plus category. And definitely I want to see Pickleball being played more among young boys and girls. This game can have multifold effect on kids. They can learn hand-eye coordination; they can have idea about how to follow rules or keep themselves disciplined and obviously how to be patient. Physical fitness is definitely a key point in this sport but kids can also learn about social skills, team spirit and responsibility.”
- Silver Medal in Mixed Doubles at Mumbai Open Pickleball Championship in 2018
- Silver Medal in Women’s Doubles at 1at All Women Pickleball Tournament, 2018
- Gold Medal in Women’s Doubles at 19th Parle Mahotsav, 2018
- Member of gold medal winning team at 1st Women’s Tournament in League Format, 2019
- Semifinalist in Women’s Doubles at 1st JMDYC Open Pickleball Tournament, 2019
- Participated in Women’s Doubles at 2nd Indian Open, 2018