XLR8 in Kothanur offers a range of physical activities from cricket to paintball

Enroute to the Bangalore International Airport lies the country’s first and only indoor sports arena, XLR8. Notwithstanding its distance from the centre of town, XLR8 is growing increasingly popular, particularly among the IT folk, who seek to their let their down on weekends while playing sport.

Set up in 2008, XLR8 has five courts and offers 16 disciplines including indoor cricket, football, basketball, throwball and netball. And for those seeking thrills, there’s even an artificial wall climbing unit, a paintball course and a mini-golf course. “This is the one-stop solution for sports, social get-togethers and entertainment,” says the affable former international badminton player Vijay Lancy, who is vice-president of marketing and operations here.

Room for more

However, there’s more to come: “we are building three badminton courts, three squash courts, and shortly, we are going to have a temperature-controlled swimming pool, which will be the first of its kind in the city,” says Vijay.

All the sports facilities are furnished with the best equipment and are tended by professional coaches. “We have a tie-up with Olympian Nisha Millet to train those keen on swimming. Similarly, we have trained coaches in tennis, football and cricket,” says Vijay. The eight-a-side cricket is another attraction at the complex, for corporates as well as schools and colleges, he says.

Families too

Apart from working professionals, plenty of families come to XLR8 to spend time together. “The focus is to get as many families as we can, and that’s one of the reasons we opted out of offering bar services here,” says Vijay. The majority of the families that come to the indoor stadium are from Hennur and surrounding areas — with the proliferation of apartment complexes in a fast-growing neighbourhood, membership is rising, but it isn’t restricted to the locality. “Folks living as far away as Koramangala, Bannerghatta, Jayanagar and other areas also come here for a bit of action,” Vijay points out.

For Vijay, who represented India at various international meets including the Thomas Cup, sports management is a dream come true. He was a good scholar as well and did his MBA at IIT, Kolkata. “I was looking at ways to synergise my business acumen with my passion for sports, and XLR8 happened and it was just my calling,” he signs off.

(XLR8 is next to Southern Asia Bible College, Hennur-Bagalur Main Road, Kothanur. Call 9008501007.)

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