Indian Racketlon possibilities

I would like to give you a rough overview about what happened during my India trip, with whom I met, what was the topic, and how the persons and the venues look like.

 

 

 

 

 

1.) Meeting with the president of the Indian Racketlon Federation, Mr. Manoranjan Mishra

We met in Bhubaneshwar, where he is located, at the Mayfair Lagoon Hotel. Since we didn’t meet for a longer time, we exchanged some views on what has happened the last 2 years, and Mr. Mishra reported, that after the 2012 world champs in Sofia, where an Indian team came to participate, he brought down his activities, since there was only little support internally and a lack of sponsors, which make Racketlon events possible.

He expressed his dissatisfaction, that communication was going on for building Racketlon tournaments in India, but nobody gave him a telephone call, although being on the distribution list.

I told him that I will clarify the matter by a personal talk with the guys in Pune, who are fresh on the market and started the communication by sending emails.

 

2.) The Grand Bhagwati Hotel in Surat/Gujarat

This neat hotel is in fact hosting all our 4 racket sports. Here we have 2 table tennis tables, 1 badminton court, 1 squash court and one outdoor tennis court. Table tennis is excellent with a sufficient lighting, the light in badminton is a bit dim but the height is good, the squash court fully up to the standard, and the outside tennis court is quite of not reasonable quality, as the space behind the ground line is very little. But for a small tournament to attract Indian players in that area, it would be good enough.

The advantage that this place has, that it is a hotel, where all players directly can be accommodated. In the free time players could also enjoy a snooker room, or a fitness center, and also a 50 meter swimming pool is waiting to be used.

One point has to be mentioned: Gujarat is the state, where Mahatma Gandhi was born, and therefore it is so-called “dry state”. As a consecuence all players, who want to play after the matches a round of “beer-pong”, have to turn their game into “juice-pong”.

 

3.) The Pune Residency Club

This club is for exclusive and richer Indian citizens of Pune/Maharashtra, who want to enjoy the exclusivity of a place that gives them tranquility and leisure.

Possible is only a lifetime membership, and that costs you about 15,000 Euros. But for this money you are getting a ground, that is like a very good hotel with all its advantages.

The maintenance of this club is excellent, every area is clean and in well condition.

Table tennis (2), badminton (3), squash (2) and tennis (4 outdoor) are all in well conditions. The club has 3,500 members! On top of that the club is operating 32 rooms for rent at a rate of r.a. 50 Euros per night, where the quality is equal to a 4-star hotel. That means, a couple of players could be accommodated on site, but there are also hotels around that area of reasonable quality and price.

One negative point would definitely be the missing of an aircondition in the squash and in the badminton courts. That restricts tournaments to a playing period between October and February, since Pune is quite hot.

Also here are snooker rooms or a fitness center for possible leisure times in between the games, and also to mention a nice swimming pool.

Summary: For a medium sized tournament this ground would be absolutely sufficient in terms of quality of the premises.

 

4.) The National Sports CLUB of India (NSCI) in Mumbai

This club is huge! I don’t think that in the western world we can find something similar.

The NSCI is host to 15,000 members, and has even its own stadium, which could host all of his members.

Being a frequent traveller to India, I have to honestly admit, that I did not expect such a center of that size and quality. Mr. Abhinav, who is actually from Pune and working as a squash coach in the Pune club, has connections to the NSCI, which means that his advertisement for a Racketlon tournament is reaching a possible number of 15,000 persons. He is reporting that he has already a number of people, who showed interest in the Racketlon sport, and he is willing to start organizing a tournament within this year.

I advised him not to think too big in the first step, but to see, whether the people, who show interest, will also show up in real, and that they have fun with this sport as well. Unfortunately we all know that there is always a big gap between dream and reality, and therefore a smaller “testing tournie” could be of help.

At first I told him that there is an Indian Racketlon Federation existing, having Mr. Mishra as the president, and that he should definitely make a contact with him, so that Mr. Mishra´s experience can be of use. Mr. Abhinav seem to have a strong will to set up this sport in India and should be definitely supported. Being in the organization of bigger squash events already, it also seems that he is able to get some sponsors for such an event, which is fully necessary as we all know.

I explained him in rough how tournaments function, how you can calculate the number of possible games, which categories could be set up and how the rules are working out. And that we are having also team games that count only up to eleven points, what he found personally more interesting, because people, who are beginning, may prefer to lose as a team instead of getting a personal defeat in a single match.

The club has 4 x table tennis with very good conditions, 5 x badminton, 3 x squash (plus 1 bigger court for doubles), and 6 x tennis hard court with floodlight.

Also a pro-shop is there, as we have it in Europe. Here you can get all your rackets and spare parts for our sport.

Mr. Abhinav is very enthusiastic, that in Mumbai the first bigger Racketlon tournament will take place, and he should get all the support from the Indian Racketlon Federation as well as from our side. I offered him to contact me any time in case of needed help.

Places like in Mumbai and Pune are also in Bangalore and in Delhi, so everything is possible, and if sponsors are found, we can expect a bigger thing in a country with the second biggest population on this planet.

Mr. Abhinav may travel to Europe on the occasion of one FIR tournament, and then he would like to learn a bit from the organization, I think that this will not be any issue for us.

I am closing my report on India with the words, that I was surprised to see that high quality courts in India, and I am positive and confident that something will happen there in the near future.

I am presently in Hongkong, where there is also potential for a Racketlon tournament in the Chinese University of Hongkong, someone has to convince Mr. C.M. Chan that you can also organize a tournament without having indoor tennis. I am continuously trying hard, because the venue is fantastic (4 x TT + 6 x BM + 6 x SQ + 3 x TE)

Furthermore Mr. Jesper Hougaard and myself have a plan to organize a tournament in Pattaya / Thailand, if not in 2017, then definitely in 2018 in the Ambassador hotel (4 x TT + 8 x BM + 8 x SQ + 4 x TE).

 

With best regards from Hongkong
Frank Kleiber