with Rajeev Kasat
DOB: 29th December 1969
“My daughter, Drishika was the reason I took Pickleball seriously. I have always yearned to see her grow and improve considering her immense potential. As a player, I am able to guide her better and, in this process, trying to improve my game as well.”
Rajeev Kasat plays this dual role of being a trainer to his daughter and a player himself. This has been mutually beneficial as this ‘cool’ father-daughter duo has impressed the Indian Pickleball fraternity to an extent.
“I have been an active sportsperson all my life. Playing and excelling in Carrom, Chess, Table Tennis and actively playing Cricket and Volleyball. However, since Pickleball happened, all other sports have taken a backseat and are played only during annual tournaments. Pickleball is now a ritual and a routine every night from 9-11.”
About 4-5 years back Rajeev Kasat was introduced to Pickleball by Manish Rao and Sachin Mandrekar. But he did not get proper space and opportunity to play it much. That did not stop him from participating in a few tournaments at Andheri Sports Complex, Chembur and Santacruz with his partner Manoj Jaju. He was without practice but he participated in those tournaments just so that he could get a chance to play.
“That was my start. Later in 2018, a tournament was conducted at Goregaon Sports Club. Since Drishika had taken a year of Tennis training, I decided to introduce her to the sport and with just a few days of casual practice she was awarded the most promising player award of the tournament. Her keenness to continue with Pickleball led me to start it in my complex, initially with my family and Manoj.”
Pickleball has a special power to attract people from different age and gender. It is full-proved that this sport is perfect for community development. Rajeev Kasat and some of his fellow residents went on this line and started to play Pickleball on a tattered Badminton court in their residential complex. Within a few weeks, other Badminton players started joining in.
“Now we have 25 of us playing it regularly. Collectively we have built 2 courts in our complex for Pickleball. For further development, our team has started training kids from our complex and have around 25 kids practicing currently.”
Club Anmol has given two of the finest players of Indian Pickleball. Drishika Kasat has already proved to be a sensational young player while Kasturi Vighne has established herself as a player of international standard.
“The last few years have seen the evolution of Pickleball and the growth is now happening exponentially. The participation from the youth is immense and there is no stopping from hereon. It is the game of the future.”
Silver in Men’s Singles at Anmol Premier League, 2019
Silver in Men’s Doubles (50+) at Indian Open in Jaipur, 2020