Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXVIII No. 21, February 16-28, 2019

Multi-talented veteran squash champion

by S.R. Suryanarayan

Rajiv Reddy

Age was never a factor, but passion was in Rajiv Reddy’s involvement with squash. He had taken to the sport when he was 36 years old, just after he had become member of the MCC in 1987. It did not take long for him to learn the nuances of the sport, take in the rigours and begin excelling in it. In 2000, Rajiv went on to win his first national championship title in the over-45 years category. Success beckons more and Rajiv has gone on to win six more national champion tags thereafter, including the latest this year in the over-65 years group, instituted only this year at the championship. And if his enthusiasm is anything to go by, this young-at-heart man has no plans to stop there.

Enthusiasm is the other name for enterprising Reddy, who doubles up as a Squash Referee thanks to N. Ramachandran, who made the Indian Squash Academy a reality in Chennai. Rajiv’s involvement with squash grew many times from that historic moment at the turn of the millennium. Closely associated with Ramachandran, currently patron of the Squash Rackets Federation of India, Rajiv was encouraged to take to the refereeing aspect of the sport as well. In fact, he was not only until then a player alone but a coach as well, who went on to coach the national junior girls’ team with distinction in the late 1990s. At one time, he had under his tutelage, the top junior players of the time, Vaidehi Reddy and Pia Abraham. When that phase ended and even as he kept sharpening his skills as a veteran, the refereeing responsibility on him grew. Suffice to state, Rajiv rose to become a World Referee and, today, he is the Director of Referees with the Squash Rackets Federation of India. As a World referee, he has had lot of globe trotting to do for major championships and tournaments in various countries. In fact, after his victorious outing in the Nationals in Delhi, Rajiv had to leave for Pattaya in Thailand to officiate in the Asian junior squash championship.

For some one who also dabbles in hockey and tennis – and in both of these sports, he represents his club, the MCC, in the league – it is admirable that he finds time for squash play and work. “Not a moment to lose,” has been Rajiv’s refrain as he hops from one sport to the other with ease. But nothing has given him the kind of status that squash is now providing him. The recent national championship title he won, beating Rajan Gupta, was well fought right till the end, with games going to extra points.That he withstood the rigours and emerged victorious is testimony to his fitness, of which he is justifiably proud. Well connected in society because of the nature of duties he does (Rajiv runs his own business), this veteran is but another example of the continuing success of squash in Chennai and Tamil Nadu.

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