Vrishan Kanodia, a member of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC), has made history by becoming the first bowler ever to be selected to represent India at the International Deaf Bowls Championship to be held at Edinburgh in September 2023. Vrishan, who is hearing challenged by birth, has overcome his disability and achieved remarkable success in the sport of lawn bowling.
Vrishan joined RCGC, seven years ago to pursue golf, but soon discovered a greater passion for lawn bowling. He learned the game from the veteran bowlers at the club, who took him under their wing and taught him the skills and strategies of the sport. He started winning club spoons and trophies, and became a sought-after player in the Royal Bowling League (RBL), where he played in teams with senior and experienced bowlers. He also represented RCGC in the annual bowling competition against the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.
Vrishan’s talent was then put to the test by bowling stalwarts at the club. They felt he could participate in the International arena. Mr. Vishwanath Pai, a national player himself, took Vrishan under his tutelage and showed him the finer nuances of the game. The machinery was put into motion, many letters and applications later, he was invited by the International Deaf Bowls Federation to participate in the 9th International Deaf Bowls Championship at Collinton BC, Edinburgh to be held from 1st to 14th September 2023. He will be playing against 7 other nations – Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and 2 others. All other nations are sending teams of men and women both. However, Vrishan is the sole representative from India, thus, he will only play the individual matches. Mr. Pai will be accompanying him as his mentor and coach.
Vrishan credits his family, friends and the RCGC bowling fraternity for their constant support and encouragement. He says he never felt “different” or isolated because of his hearing challenge, as everyone has always treated him with respect and affection. He says he is grateful to RCGC for providing him with a platform to pursue his passion and excel in it. He hopes to make his club and country proud by winning a medal at the International Championship this year.
Vrishan serves as an inspiration for all of us to overcome our limitations and pursue our dreams with determination and hard work.