It’s been nearly a year since she last held a sword and Shraddha Chhadva, 16, can’t wait to wield one again.
You’d be forgiven for mistaking Chhadva for a member of an Amazonian warrior outfit. But in truth, the Utpal Shanghvi student is a registered participant at a martial arts and samurai workshop being conducted over the summer holidays.
“It was very exciting,” said Chhadva of her last year’s experience. “It was completely different from anything I had tried before.”
Even as Chhadva will take weapons training again this summer, others across the city can also dip into a pool of unusual sporting delights.
Rupesh Desai, an ultimate frisbee player, and his friends will conduct two events during free of cost at a beach to popularise this novel game.
At one of YMCA’s branches, pickleball, a new international sport that blends badminton, table tennis and lawn tennis, will make its debut. “YMCA has given the world quite a few sports, so we thought, why not this one,” said Jonas J Kumar, in charge of physical education at the Jhulla Maidan (Agripada) branch. “The rules are simple; and it’s a game-cum-fitness-workout for any age group.”
Elsewhere, archery, handball, billiards and chess will be on offer for those on the lookout for less-than-standard sporting thrills.
“Nowadays, kids run a little and become breathless. Fitness levels have diminished on the whole,” said Suresh Kanojia, a former national judo champion who has introduced a 15-day “beach activity” course comprising a host of exercise and self-defence activities.
For the most part, though, summer sports camps represent for children long periods of play, and for their parents, long periods of having them out of the house.
“Parents think it’s a good way to keep the kids occupied,” said Geeta Punjabi, president of the Chanakya Chess Club. “If families aren’t going out of town, then parents would rather send them to camps instead of having them watching television.”
For others, the camps are an opportunity to brush up on old skills or resume sports they are unable to play during the school months.
“I want the children to be busy and not waste time on television,” said Seema Parekh, who plans to send her children for gymnastics classes. “During school hours they don’t get enough time for these things.”