Society

It’s a techie life: With a thwack

Badmintion courts at Technopark Club Photo: Anand R.J.   | Photo Credit: Anand R.J.

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Badminton is a smashing success with techies. Whether it’s for fun or fitness, the sport finds many takers in Technopark

Early morning and late evening visitors to Technopark, specifically Technopark Club, would usually be greeted by the steady thwack of racquets, the twang of shuttlecocks and the squish of sneakers across the polished wooden floor, as pairs of techies go head to head in a game of badminton.

Badminton is increasingly becoming the sport of choice for techies, with more and more of them signing up for the game. In fact, sources say that it has become so popular that the club’s three indoor shuttle courts are almost always crowded with players before and after office hours (especially Tuesdays through Thursdays) and there are many badminton clubs and groups on campus too.

Rahul Thomas, CEO and founder, Sportz4You, a city-based integrated sports management firm that organises the Park’s popular T-League sports tournaments, has a few theories why badminton is so popular among techies.

“First off, badminton is not an aggressive contact sport like football and therefore much easier for men and women in their 30s and 40s to play. An added bonus is that it’s an indoor sport and the club’s facilities are state-of-the-art [Infosys also has three high-tech shuttle courts on its development centre campus, down the road from Technopark]. Badminton as such is a sport that’s fairly easy to pick up, given that most of us would have, at one time or the other, attempted to thwack a shuttle across the nets. Also, in Technopark especially, finding a person or persons to play with/against is also quite easy.” No wonder that 15 teams of players from various companies competed in this year’s T-League badminton championship, with team Evestment eventually emerging as winners.

Technology analyst Sowmya Halady, a T-league women’s badminton champion, says that badminton “is the best stress-buster after a hard day’s work. It’s a fun sport that people of all age groups, from older CEOs and centre-heads to young trainees can play and one that is encouraged by companies. When I moved to Kerala three years ago, I didn’t know anyone. All I had was badminton and it’s with the racquet that I started making friends. Incidentally, I also got my life partner, Jayakrishnan V.S., through badminton!”

Techie Unmesh R., a project lead with an MNC says that badminton is great for fitness. “I like badminton because it’s a full body workout, where the hands, the legs and the body move in tandem. I have been playing badminton on and off since I was young and regularly in the evenings since I started working in Technopark two years ago,” he says. Unmesh, who says he prefers slow moves to smashing the shuttlecock, has a regular bunch of people he plays with. “We play singles and doubles matches. Occasionally, we play against other players to improve our game. In the past year or so the game has really picked up and it’s increasingly getting difficult to get a court free,” he adds.

Women are also active participants in the sport and Technopark Club even reserves a court for women players [between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.]. Varsha Jimmy, who often partners fellow techie Anna Jose, is one of the women who play regularly. Varsha, 24, a data analyst with an MNC, says: “I too have been a fan of badminton from my childhood days in Kozhikode, where I used to play against my father. Badminton is a sport that gives you the right amount of physical and mental satisfaction and conditions your reflexes. I actually would like it if there are more courts on campus. With the three courts only six people (or 12, if its doubles) can play at a time and you often end up waiting for a long time to get a free court.”

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Printable version | Nov 22, 2017 12:19:40 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/its-a-techie-life-with-a-thwack/article6570794.ece