Date: 28th – 29th November, 2017
Venue: Khar Gymkhana, Mumbai
Description: Pickleball is an upcoming sport in India that was originally founded in Washington in around 1965. Basically a combination of Lawn Tennis, Badminton and Table Tennis, Pickleball is having a gradual growth in India. The All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) is making all efforts to popularise the game among the masses. It has already organised four National Championships, Junior Championship and Confederation Cup. Along with AIPA, some sporting organisations are showing interest in including this sport in their curriculum.
One such programme was organised by the Women Empowerment Committee of Khar Gymkhana in Mumbai. The Committee that intends to actively involve women in all spheres of life, have come up with an idea of introducing a new sport every month to their women members. They kicked off this monthly activity programme with Pickleball in the month of November 2017. “We chose Pickleball because this is a sport that is easy to pick up and has a fun element in it that is ideal for women,” reflected Madhavi Ashar, Treasurer of Khar Gymkhana.
The programme was initiated by Khar Gymkhana after the organisation reconstructed one of its unused Badminton courts into a Pickleball court. Though the size of a Pickleball court is not much different from a Badminton court, still the organisation decided to launch the sport in a complete new environment. Neil Thakur, one of the initiators stated, “At Khar Gymkhana, there is always a zeal among all of us to do something new. It is our privilege to introduce a very new but promising sport in front of our members.”
During the two-day workshop, almost 50 women registered themselves for a hands-on experience. Atul Edward, the Indian player to win international medals in Pickleball, was present to inspire the participants. His enthusiastic inputs helped the participants to know better about the game. The women were in full energy to learn,interact and play a new game.
“This kind of initiative will definitely help us to spread the popularity of the game. From women, their child can learn and we need this kind of process. The best thing abut Pickleball is, even if you’ve never played a raquet sport, you can play it and with minimum wear and tear in your body,” concluded Sunil Valavalkar, founder of AIPA.