There’s nothing new about a son following his father’s footsteps. But three sons going their dad’s way is something. The Pawar brothers — Sanjay, Ajay and Virendra — sons of former national squash champion Chandrakant Pawar have done their father proud by pursuing a career in the same sport.
Chandrakant is a legend in his own right. There may hardly be a player in the city who has not trained under him. And his sons are not far behind. Besides being professional squash players, they also take to coaching. Sanjay, 29, trains kids at the Otters Club, Ajay, 28, coaches at the Willingdon Catholic Gymkhana and the youngest of all, Virendra, 23, instructs children at Kandivli’s Country Club.
Squash has become more of a family tradition for the Pawars. It’s so much a part of their life that Chandrakant and Sanjay even wear a locket of the squash racquet around their neck.
Chandrakant, who was a ball boy at the Bandra Gymkhana, slowly made his way up and started playing squash at the age of 28 and went on to bag 11 national titles. On the contrary, his sons didn’t have to go through a similar struggle. Having their father as a mentor, it was not surprising that they took to the sport from a very young age.
“Squash is still a developing sport in India and our main aim is to create awareness about the sport and spread it across Maharashtra,” said Sanjay, during the CCI-Western India Open Squash tournament that got underway on Monday.
“In order to promote the sport, we formed SPA (Squash Professional Association) and 19 professionals are members of the SPA. We train kids, conduct camps and provide them with all the essentials. “Our father is a 11-time national champion. As his sons, we hope at least one of us becomes a national champion and makes him proud,” he added.
On Monday, Sanjay cruised through the second round of qualifying with a 11-0 11-1 11-2 win over Shivam Mehta while Virendra beat Harendra Yadav 11-2 11-5 11-3.
Results: Men’s Open: Qualifying: Virendra Pawar bt Harendra Yadav 11-2 11-5 11-3; Sanjay Pawar bt Shivam Mehta
11-0 11-1 11-2; Rohan Zaveri bt Vilash Kotian 11-0 11-4 11-1; Ashutosh Pathak bt Sikander Pandey – walkover; Jai Singh Thory bt Taufiq Versee 11-9 11-6 11-9; Karan Mirchandani by Amit Gajra 11-5 11-4 11-4; Tushar Kothari bt Rohan Dhote 11-7 12-10 7-11 11-6; Sharad Chaturvedi bt Tapan Naubagh 12-10 11-8 11-8; Vasant Varun bt Vijaybabu 11-3 11-7 11-5; Vikas Kumar bt Akhsay Dujodwala 11-7 11-0 11-7