We talked to Deepak, who is an integral part of Shuttleboi. He gave us an exclusive insight into his views on life and sports.
- When did you start playing badminton?
Deepak: I used to play badminton during my school days. But once I entered college, I lost touch and soon after, my professional life began. I am finally back at the game now, after almost 15 years.
2. What impact has this sport made in your life?
Deepak: Impact of sports has been tremendous in my life as it has always been an integral part right since childhood. Apart from badminton, I have represented my school in Cricket, Chess and Athletics.
I was an introvert back then and had trouble socialising with other kids. Sports helped me connect and make friends, be part of teams, boosted my confidence and build team spirit. But most importantly it taught me to never give up.”
3. Apart from Badminton, what other sport do you play?
Deepak: I play cricket, table tennis, chess, volleyball and a bit of football. I am an amateur runner and have taken part in quite a few half marathons. I also trek a bit.
4. Where did you get the idea to start Shuttleboi?
Deepak: We have a group of friends with whom I play badminton regularly. We book courts, host the game on Playo and play. I wanted to bring in a competitive feel to the games.
Since there are too many tournaments taking place on a regular basis, I wanted to do something different. Hence the idea of a team league. Also, I am a huge football follower and was keen to include elements of global football leagues, IPL, PBL to my league.
[pullquote]What started out as an internal league for our own group of friends, spread to others through word of mouth and we had close to 100 participants across two Categories (Intermediate and Advanced) in Season 1.”[/pullquote]
5. What were the hurdles that you faced during the journey?
Deepak: Since season 1 was more of an experiment, we did face few hurdles during the league, like trying to get all the participants engaged and making sure they turn up every weekend. We had to drill the concept of team league into all the players as well.
Since teas were formed by draw of lots, people had not me their teammates before. How do you create a sense of team spirit when the players themselves don’t know their teammates? All of them played for themselves, because unlike football or cricket where everyone has different roles to play, badminton is more of an individual game. Hence, it took a while for teams to gel, plan, practice and play as a group.
On top of all this, we also had to ensure the league remained competitive until the very end.
6. How has the journey been so far?
Deepak: Although it’s just been few months, the journey so far has been really wonderful and quite humbling. I have learnt a lot during the course of the season and have made a lot of new friends.”
7. Would you like to give a few insights on how you want Shuttleboi to be perceived in the near future?
Deepak: Just like the name, our concept is pretty unique. Shuttleboi Badminton League (SBL) is not a tournament, it’s an experience.
Our objectives are to:
- Help people rediscover their joy for playing a sport.
- Unwind from the monotony of daily work routine.
- Provide a platform for people to connect with like-minded individuals and socialize.
- Opportunity to build, groom, motivate and lead your own team to glory.
- Realise your hidden dream of being a sports star.
8. Please throw some light on the Shuttleboi League?
Deepak: Many of us have started playing badminton recently. There’s hardly any tournament which caters to beginners or amateurs.
Most players at open tournaments are ex-ranking players, coaches, etc. There’s no way an average Intermediate player can compete against them.
SBL gives everyone an opportunity to play and compete with players of the same level. We have leagues for every category right from Beginner to Intermediate and Advanced.
Also, we provide a clear path for growth when it comes to an individual. Today you might be an amateur, tomorrow you have an opportunity to progress to intermediate or advanced.
We all have goals when it comes to our career. We want to be a manager or a VP or a CEO. Just like a firm that gives the opportunity to a beginner, we provide you with a platform where even an amateur can progress to be an advanced player.
We are looking to build a multi-tiered league structure where there will be promotions and relegations across all categories. Winner of Amateur progresses to Intermediate. And similarly winner of Intermediate progresses to Advanced.”
9. Who are the partners of this League?
Deepak: In season 1 we had Piranha Sportswear, Actofit and Playo as our partners. This season we have BaddyZone, Trophykart, DNI along with Playo and Actofit as our partners.
10. I believe you had previous editions of Shuttleboi, how were they?
Deepak: This would be season 2 of SBL. Season 1 was held at one location across two Categories (Intermediate and Advanced). We had close to 100 participants across both categories.
11. What are the significant changes you have made or seen between these editions?
Deepak: SBL season 2 will have few changes compared to season 1.
- Multiple locations.
- A new category (Amateur)
- Multiple levels (local and city Championships)
- League membership
- More awards.
- Player rankings/ team rankings/ match videos etc
- Our own YouTube channel.
12. What would your message be to those who have not heard about Shuttleboi yet?
Deepak: All of us have dreams, ambitious, goals. All of us want to be top-level managers or CEOs some day. As human beings we are competitive, we feel happy when we win something. All we want is an opportunity. Same is the case when it comes to sport.
Most of us don’t get an opportunity to play with better players. We send a request to someone above our level, we don’t get accepted.
Also, we don’t get accepted if we send a request to unknown people. So how does one improve and grow?
As per me, there are 3 main things when it comes to improving one’s game:
- Play more (as they say practice makes a person perfect)
- Play with multiple groups, players (people with better fitness/ skills etc)
- Learn technical aspects of the game.
Hence SBL is a perfect opportunity for all of you who love the game, want to learn the game, reconnect with the game etc. We have structured our league taking all these things into account.
We provide a platform for you to:
- Rediscover the joy of playing the sport
- Learn, improve your skills
- Means to get fit and healthy in a fun way.
- Unwind from daily work routine and stress
- Make new friends, socialize
- Create, lead your own team
- Unleash your competitive self
- Fulfil your dream of being a sports superstar.
Want to participate in Shuttleboi League 2?
Consider yourself still a learner? Then register by clicking on this link.
Think, you are catching up but not yet a pro, then you can join the Intermediate league we have for you!
Confident enough to win? Play against other pro players to test yourself by registering here!