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Squash the hurdles

Anila Kurian, Jan 17, 2017, DHNS 23:29 IST
encouraging (From left, standing) Nitin, Rishabh, Paul, Shamil and Nishant. (Sitting) Ravi, David, Ankit and Tanmay. DH PHOTO BY S K DINESH
Sports have become a way of life for many Bengalureans. It is not just the adrenaline rush but the fitness perspective too that makes many pick up a sport.

The ‘Bangalore Squash Club’ is one such group which came together as a meeting ground of common interests. It all began when Anurag, the founder of the club moved to the city for work. He wanted to play squash.

Paul Rahul Chandran, the organiser of the club, recollects, “When Anurag and I met in 2010, we realised that they were no squash players or a venue to play here. That’s when Anurag decided to reach out to people and encourage them to join the group. We used to have small group meetings whenever possible. Since 2012, I have been handling all the programmes for the club.”

What started as a club with 25 to 30 members has now grown to a 1,060 member-club. The group meet as regularly as possible in various venues across the city. “We have about five venues but the most frequented one is at Gopalan International School. We have a few co-organisers who bring inother people from the city to play squash,” explains Paul.

The aim of the club is to introduce and encourage one to play squash.
Before one joins, the organisers ask them basic questions on their knowledge of the game and the level they play.

As most of them are beginners, they get the help of coaches who are
national-level players. Rishabh Sahu, a GRC consultant, says, “I joined this club about two years back to lose weight. The advantage has been more than what I expected. It’s great that we get to meet both national and international level players. I have even encouraged two friends of mine to join the club!”

The group sees a range of players from school students to veterans as members. They also have women players who meet regularly. David Rohan Chandra, a software engineer, says, “It’s great that we get to do something fun over the weekends. I used to play squash when I was living in Hyderabad but this group is much better.

We get to meet new people every week and I have improved a lot too.” Apart from the weekly meetups, they have built a community on their own, both offline and online.

Nishant Vas, a user experience designer, says, “I love the fact that the team is open and approachable. Since we play at varied venues, we also get access to cool places in the city. We are also active on social media like WhatsApp groups which are always open to topics for discussion.”

“The club is also a great way to de-stress after a hectic week. It is both physically and mentally calming and a healthy exercise. I think the core team is doing a great job in keeping the group alive by arranging meetups and matches,” says Ravi Kudupu, a consultant.

If one wants to join the group, all they have to do is register and they are in.
“Apart from having healthy discussions and playing games, we also help beginners choose the right racket, the appropriate clothes required and more. We want to continue building the community and encourage the country to play squash,” says Paul.

(‘Bangalore Squash Club’ can be contacted at 7259510451)

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