Kanwar Jit, the oldest player participating in the GD Birla Memorial Masters inter-club badminton tourney, credits the sport for keeping him in good health at this age
When it's about love, it is said age doesn't matter. But one wouldn't associate the same with a sport like badminton when you are over 70. One needs strong determination, dedication and discipline towards the sport to keep going.
Kanwar Jit Singh at the Cricket Club of India's badminton courts yesterday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
And these are the key attributes that set 71-year-old Kanwar Jit Singh apart. Singh is the oldest player participating in the 22nd GD Birla Memorial Masters Inter-Club Badminton Tournament.
The septuagenarian started playing badminton 42 years ago and credits the sport for his good health at this age. "Badminton is my hobby and I never wanted to become a professional player. For me badminton is about playing with friends after work at Bombay Gymkhana.
"That helps me forget my worries. It also keeps me active and occupied. I am happy that till date I haven't had any major disease," said the Napean Sea Road resident.
Singh had a bad fall on the court and injured his left wrist four months ago. But that didn't stop him from participating in the tournament. "We were practicing at Bombay Gymkhana when I fell and injured my left wrist. It had to be operated and a plate had to be inserted.
I am too passionate about the sport," said Singh, who will play his first round match alongside his partner Rajesh Advani today. They will be featuring in the category in which the combined age of the two players is over 100 years.
Addiction to badminton
Recollecting how his five-year stay in Germany got him hooked to badminton, Singh said, "I was in Germany for work. That's when I started playing county badminton and got addicted to it. I even won a couple of local titles then.
After returning to India, I won the first GD Birla Memorial 90+ doubles category title with my then partner Keval Agarwal in 1992." On his fitness success, Singh said: "I eat simple home-cooked vegetarian food. I am a foodie and love sweets."