Khelshala completes successful one year14 August, 2010

After a successful initiative in the form of 'Khelshala' (squash academy) in Sector 42, Chandigarh, legendary squash coach Satinder Bajwa has now taken the duty to teach tennis to youngsters in the region. The 57 year-old, coach of eight-time world squash champion Jansher Khan, has opened 'Khelshala' for tennis in village Majra, near Siswan Dam, that was inaugurated on Monday.

"It has been three years since we launched Khelshala in Attawa village to teach squash to youngsters. This time we thought that we should promote tennis. Both the games are very popular at the college level in the USA and we want to teach these games to the children from rural areas. I have been working with the young players at Attawa village and I believe the children from Majra village and nearby villages will benefit from this facility," shared Bajwa, who was director of squash at Harvard University for more than a decade. At Khelshala, more than 45 village children come to learn squash. Moreover, here they also study under expert teachers and practise yoga and other motivational things. The coach wants to teach the same to children from the Majra village.

In order to make the venture a success, more than ten volunteers, including students from Panjab University, have been helping Bajwa in his endeavour. "The 45 children at Khelshala, Attawa, have been playing squash for three years now. I believe that mental strength is the key to perform well in the international arena and we want to teach the youngsters the same. As the director of squash at Harvard University, I have interacted a lot with college players and I hope my experience will come handy," said Bajwa.

On Monday, more than 100 villagers came to take part in the inauguration of the campus and village children sounded ecstatic on learning the basics of tennis. "We have been working for more than a month to set things up for the academy. It's near to Panjab University and we hope that even Chandigarh players would benefit from this facility," said Ivan Khosa, a volunteer at the Khelshala and a student of Panjab University.of squash. It was founded in August 2009. Khelshala has grown to provide students with more than athletic opportunities, such as academic tuition and musical lessons. There are around 50 children at Khelshala.