Noida: On Sunday, October 16, 2022, the AOA of Prateek Laurel Society, Sector 120, Noida, felicitated the players from their society who participated in the second National Pickleball Tournament held on October 7 to October 9, 2022. Rajiva Singh, President of Noida Federation of Apartment Owner's Association (NOFAA) and Sachin Goyal, Vice President of NOFAA, served as the Chief Guest in the felicitation ceremony.
It was a moment of pride for the society as 15 of the 20 players of the Uttar Pradesh team who competed at the Nationals in the Pickleball Tournament held in Indore, Madhya Pradesh were from Prateek Laurel Society. Prabhat Mani Vats, the AOA President of the society won the Bronze medal in the men's 40+ age category in the tournament.
While talking about how he prepared for the tournament, Prabhat Mani Vats says, "I've only been playing pickleball for seven months, but since I was already a District level badminton player, this new game that is similar to badminton caught my attention. I began playing the game with the team in the morning and evening slots for more than two hours and an hour in the evening." He also says that it would not have been possible without his family's support and motivation.
The UP State Pickleball Association's President Pradeep Saxena and General Secretary Aman Grover, who both are residents of Prateek Laurel Society, debuted the sport in Noida. In March'2022, Aman Grover won the Silver Medal in the Jaipur Pink City Open tournament in the 35+ doubles category. Pradeep Saxena also appeared in the 60+ category and also won a Medal in the 7th National Pickleball Championship held in Telangana in June 2022.
Pradeep Saxena says, "It's a really gratifying moment for the state that it's merely a year since we started playing pickleball and we've already competed in two national championships and won bronze on both occasions. I believe age is no bar to pursue your passion."
Aman Grover, General Secretary of UPSPA says, "I hope that the team will win more medals by the end of 2022. Our vision is to introduce this game in more societies and schools in Noida and to other districts too. We are going to gather a huge number of players and the team is very passionate about bringing gold home this time."
Ashish Gupta, another player from the team says, "This game has a very bright scope as other states are also picking this game and in the Nationals. Around 18 states and 400 individuals participated in these Nationals. The best part of this game is that this game can be played by anyone from the age group of 8-80 years."
The Felicitation ceremony ended with a speech by Rajiva Singh, the chief guest. He said that participating is very important and that it doesn't matter if you lose in the process.
Among those players from the society who participated in different categories were-
In 60+ Men's category was Pradeep Kumar Saxena; under 14 category were Saranya Garg and Devman Dugar; Under 19 category were Jaidithya Dugar; in the Open category were Avaneesh Soni; in the 35+ Men's category were Kalpit Sharma, Ashish Gupta, Sunil Garg, Vineet Chaturvedi and Aman Grover; in the 40+ Men's category were Alok Dugar, Rajarshi Sengupta, Kapil Verma, Prabhat Mani Vats and in the 50+ Men's category was Uday Kumar Jain.