Listed as one of the top 10 growing sports across the world, Pickleball has been gaining immense popularity, across the globe. Ace Bollywood Director Shashank Khaitan along with Hemal Jain, Founder & Partner at Global Sports Company and Seema Singh of Meghashrey NGO have joined hands to promote the sport actively in India by birthing and introducing ‘Global Sports Pickleball Championship’.
The untapped market for this sport along with its easy nature allows infinite possibilities for its growth. Also, present at the conference were core members of the Global Sports Company, namely Suresh Bhansali, Mihir Khandelwal, Niraj S Jain, Divyesh Jain and India’s top players with their immense dedication for the game.
Many pertinent points about the game were discussed at length which offered insights about the characteristics of Pickleball and how the status of the game could be elevated. Over 350 registrations have been recorded from top players across multiple categories. The trophy for the Championship was also unveiled with great fanfare.
Commenting on the unmatched opportunities the game could offer, Director Shashank Khaitan says, “To introduce anything, the first step would be to create awareness about it. And the easy complexion of Pickleball can offer many prospects. There is a vibrant community of players already playing, right from 14- 15 years of age to players who are 60 -70 years who are all extremely competitive. I believe this game is well-suited for the Indian community and is also not very heavy on infrastructure.”
Playing the sport since 2015, Mihir Khandelwal, Co-founder at Global Sports Company is extremely passionate about building the framework for the sport to take it to the next level. He says, “The game has no age and gender barriers which makes it a sport that anyone can play. Once you try your hand at Pickleball, I can assure you that you would want to play it all your life, that’s the nature of this game.”
When asked about the idea of introducing the sport in schools, Seema Singh of Meghashrey NGO says, “If schools take up the sport and introduce it in the curriculum, it becomes easier for people to take the sport seriously. Parents also will give it importance and it becomes effective overall in promoting the sport.”
An easy sport overall, while there are several reasons that the sport will gain traction, the aim is to have recognition for it, especially in India and introduce it in world leagues such as Olympics and others.