I was a badminton player in my younger days. But somewhere once I started working, I had stopped playing sports completely. Around four years ago I started playing badminton once again, but I quickly realised I was not as fit as I used to be. I had put on around 50kg since my playing days.
Discovering Racketlon in Thailand
In January 2019, when I was on a business trip to Thailand, I heard about a sport called Racketlon being played at Jomtien, near Pattaya. I dropped down to Jomtien City and saw a few players participating in a combination of table tennis, badminton, squash and more. They were not familiar faces, but being a sportsman I felt at home with sport being played around me.
So around June 2019 at 112kg in weight, I decided that I would like to learn the three other sports and try my hand at Racketlon.
I had played table tennis in school but had never learned it technically so this is where I started. Quickly I realised that it was nowhere near as easy as I had thought. A couple of months of practice and I started understanding the game a little bit better.
Similarly, I asked a friend to help me try my hand at squash. It felt easier to play because I was decent at badminton, but the angles were something that was alien to me.
The real challenge was playing tennis. It opened an entirely new chapter for me because I felt like a complete amateur at a sport after years. Learning something so different was a real challenge.
Finally, after a couple of months of trying to learn the sports, I entered myself into the IWT Malta Open 2019. The best thing about it was I had lost 9kg in five months since I had begun to think about racketlon seriously.
My Journey to Malta
To reach Malta, I had to travel over 15 hours in flight and a total of 20 hours from my hometown in India. I played the beginner category, the Men’s D Singles, and managed to win in that group. The bigger victory, however, was that I was hooked on racketlon. I realised that by losing 9kg and learning a few sports I was becoming more active in life and was getting fitter day-by-day. The win also inspired me to try harder.
I met some really inspiring people at the tournament in Malta. I met some people who selflessly work for the sport and are trying their best to help the sport grow, and most importantly I made some really great friends too.
Being able to see the world No.1s Morten Jaksland and Christine Seehofer play in the tournament was the icing on the cake as I realised that its a sport which needs not only good physical capacity but also an understanding at a decent level of all four sports in the technical aspect.
The best experiences of my racketlon journey in Malta was the players’ party. A first-timer like me was having a ball with the experts of racketlon and it felt like I was a part of a big family. Unlike many other sports, the top players are very friendly and down to earth.
I played two more racketlon tournaments in 2020, one in Thailand and one in India. My experience has been pleasant and happy at both. I genuinely feel that I have grown as a person and as a sportsman.
My Racketlon Story so Far
A summary of my journey so far:
- Start of January 2019: I was 112kgs when I discovered racketlon.
- 24th September 2019: I was 103 kgs when I left for Malta to play racketlon for the first time.
- January 2020: I was at 90kgs.
- 17th March 2020: I am 83kgs and still losing over a year after my introduction to racketlon.
In total, I have lost around 30kgs. But more than that, I live a healthier lifestyle, have a happier family and a goal to get fitter. Racketlon has given me more than what a sport can give anyone. I hope to keep learning, playing and enjoy it for many years to come.
I am happy to be part of this big family.
Kedar Nadgonde / Indian Racketlon Player
Image Credit / Kedar Nadgonde
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