By Shreyashi Mukherjee

Pickleball, a sport that combines tennis, table tennis and badminton, is becoming popular among the townspeople. Players find it an easy sport which also helps to maintain their fitness.

The game involves two to four players who use paddles to hit a perforated hollow polymer ball over a net.

Rajath Kankar, Secretary General, Karnataka State Pickleball Association, said: “After covid, pickleball picked up pretty well. We are now in six districts of Karnataka, and the sport has been developing for seven years. Currently over 1.5 million people are watching the game and up to 800 people are playing it.

bangalore has 300 senior players.

He added that more people are attracted to this game because there is very little chance of getting hurt because they are playing with gravity and not against it.

In addition, anyone between the ages of eight and eighty can practice this sport.

After covid, people have become health conscious, and this is a surefire way to take care of their physical health, he explained.

He also said that many doctors encourage people to play this sport because it is a good way to get cardio exercise.

Gowtham R, a pickleball pro, has won several accolades in the game. He started his journey back in college days. He currently works at BESCOM, but still makes sure to practice sport on a daily basis.

He said, “I started playing it first for fitness, but gradually I got very interested in this game. I work out, but three times a week I keep myself free to play sports. , or if there are days off, I will use them to train. This game is very unique, even old people can play it safely. It is a game that is played individually and does not require teams unlike cricket or football.

Gowtham has won several awards for pickleball and even represented Karnataka in many pickleball championships like RYP Ranking All India Tournament (Pune), and India Open – Season 2 (Jaipur).

Kavya J, another pickleball player, also started playing pickleball in college.

She said: “I was a badminton player and a throwing player so playing pickleball was quite easy, and after playing I realized it was quite a fun game. Now I’m addicted to it. I participated in the Gujarat Pickleball Tournament, which was at the national level, and won a silver medal. This game has a lot of opportunities for women and there is no retirement as such. When I saw the senior players play the game with such enthusiasm, I was all the more inspired.

Whitefield resident Romila Joshi said: “I recently discovered pickleball on YouTube and it inspired me so much. I’m in my 50s and it feels good to know there are sports I can participate in.