The Uttar Pradesh pickleball team produced another impressive performance at the 2nd National Pickleball Championship held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, where Prabhat Mani Vats from Noida secured a bronze medal in the men’s 40+ age category.

Speaking on the team’s performance at the tourament, Aman Grover, general secretary of the Uttar Pradesh State Pickleball Association, said they hope to end 2022 with many more medals under their belt.

“The UP team is extremely excited about its performance. I still remember the day when pickleball started in Noida back in September 2021. The state has some amazing talent and it is time to roll up our sleeves and deliver. We see an influx of about 200 plus players from Uttar Pradesh in this quarter,” Grover told ABP Live.

Prabhat, who picked up pickleball during the Covid-19 period and has been playing for the past one year, told ABP Live that he was committed to promoting and taking the game to the next level in the upcoming tournaments, across India and abroad. 

Prabhat Mani Vats from Noida secured a bronze medal

For the uninitiated, pickleball, a combination of badminton, tennis and table tennis (TT), is a US sport that is gaining wide popularity in India. Played with a paddle and a wiffle ball (perforated plastic ball with 2-40 holes), pickleball is now played across 18 states and has over 15,000 registered players, according to the AIPA.

Similar to other racquet sports, the goal in pickleball is to win a point after rallying against your opponent. However, a team scores points only while serving.

The paddle sport was invented in 1965 as a children’s backyard game on Bainbridge Island Washington, US by three friends. 

Pickleball’s journey from Washington to India came about after Mumbai-based Sunil Valavalkar spotted families playing it during his visits to Canada in 1999 and later in 2006. Two years later, he went on to establish the All India Pickleball Association (AIPA) in 2008.

The game picked up in Uttar Pradesh after Valavalkar came to Noida’s Prateek Laurel society to give a demonstration of the sport, which is easy to learn and is played across all disciplines — singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

From then on there has been no looking back, and people across all ages, from eight to eighty, and genders have shown tremendous interest in the sport, which is played on a badminton-sized court across a 36 inch-tall net, in Uttar Pradesh.


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By Dipak

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