Home FLASHES Pune fast growing as a major Pickleball centre

Pune fast growing as a major Pickleball centre

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In recent years, Pune has got several dedicated Pickleball courts, thus having a decent rise in Pickleball players.

Pune is considered as the Queen of Deccan. We recently visited Pune to have an idea about the development of sporting activities in the city. 

Various sports centres and academies have developed at Pune recently. Hindu Gymkhana is one such centre. Situated in Kothrud, among the lush green and tall trees, the Gymkhana has three dedicated Pickleball courts.

Pickleball players, Vrushali Takare and Ajay Chaudhari, have set up their own Thakare Pickleball Academy in Pune and conduct coaching sessions at this Gymkhana.

Being a part of Pickleball India from its early days, both Vrushali and Ajay want to provide every facility to the future players that were not available to them when they started playing.

Ajay remembered’ “Those days, tournaments happened in Mumbai only. We belong to Jalgaon district in Maharashtra and were always informed very late. So, (we) always had to rush to Mumbai by trains with unreserved seats, scarcity of water and bit of food. The paddles and balls were also not of high quality. In fact, there were only wooden paddles at that time.”

With all their experience of playing, Vrushali and Ajay have been instrumental in developing dedicated Pickleball courts in Pune. Vrushali informed, “We started with 15 students in a premises of a building where there was a single badminton court. From there now we have 3 courts in Kothrud, 4 courts in Bhugaon, and 5 courts in Wagholi.” 

With an increase in the number of players, some other centres are also planning to induct Pickleball in their programmes. We met Tennis player Radhika Tulpule who is now a coach at Adar Poonawala Maharashtra Tennis Academy.

Radhika said, “We conducted a Pickleball clinic at our Academy where we got good response. Having played Tennis for many years and now trying to play Pickleball, I understand that some skills of Tennis can be taught through Pickleball. So, there is a future plan to merge Tennis and Pickleball at our Academy.

The rising number of players is increasing the popularity of Pickleball in Pune. By observing the recent trend, it can be conferred that Pune is gradually getting  ready, and in near future will definitely throw a huge challenge to Mumbai which is considered as the Pickleball capital of India.   

Watch the video here

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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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