The girls rule the world! That is true in Westeros where power ranges from Cercei Lannister to Daenerys Targaryen to Sansa and Arya Stark. They are all queens in the Game of Thrones.
The Lannisters and the Targaryens have now inspired the Megha Kapoors and Bela Kotwanis to rule the Pickleball court. Come 25th May, the girls of Pickleball India shall fight a friendly battle for their Pickleball League that has been christened as Game of Thrones.
The Women’s Friendly Pickleball League, organized collectively by women players, is the first-of-its-kind Pickleball tournament that will be played at Khar Gymkhana in Mumbai on 25th and 26th May 2019. When Pickleball is striding newer steps in India, this tournament is like a feather to its cap. “The youngsters got inspired by the Game of Thrones series. Megha Kapoor first suggested the idea and we liked it. But then we asked all for approval and maximum people agreed to it. So we went ahead with the theme. We thought that it will add some fun too as it is a friendly tournament,” revealed Bela Kotwani, whose brainchild is the event.
The players are divided into four teams named after the Houses of Westeros. Team Targaryen is captained by Siddhi Kangane and consists of Ananyaa Patil, Drishika Kasat, Nisha Shah, Falguni Shah, Genevieve Thakur and Tanya Rao. Team Stark consists of Bela Kotwani, Shakuntala Devnani, Namrataa Kothaary, Deepali Daga, Asha Bachani and Renuka Acharya. The team is captained by Kadambari Patil. On the selection of teams, Bela Kotwani said, “We tried to get 4 same level players and then divided them by taking out chits.” The other two teams are Team Lannister and Team White Walkers captained by Megha Kapoor and Bhakti Adiverekar respectively. The other members of Team Lannister are Devika Sharma, Sujay Parekh, Manita Gujral, Ruchi Shah, Trupti Sngh and Meher Amalsadiwala. Team White Walkers consists of Kasturi Vighne, Ananya Daga, Leena Mulgaonkar, Riddhi Barot, Vaidehi Rajpathak and Urvi Shah.
The All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) has sanctioned the tournament and the participation of Selkirk, the noted paddle manufacturer, has added value to the tournament. Asha Bachani, one of the players and an active member of Pickleball Departmentof Khar Gymkhana has volunteered her services to do Acupuncture for instant pain relief. On what would be the gain from the tournament, Kotwani added, “May we encourage more women to play the game and participate in more tournaments.”