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Uday Vishwanath Deshpande, is best described as a man on a mission. Having dedicated most of his life towards nurturing and promoting the ancient Indian sport of Mallakhamb, with fervour and single-minded focus, Deshpande’s contribution to the field has been immense.
His own prowess as a player of Mallakhamb went a long way in this process. Being a reputed National level player of Mallakhamb in the early seventies, helped Deshpande to achieve a natural feel for the sport and to understand the unique demands of a sport like Mallakhamb. As a result his approach has been two – folded. On one hand he has coached and created several outstanding Mallakhamb players, both within the country and abroad. On the other he has helped organize over a hundred Mallakhamb demonstrations and camps within India and has taken Mallakhamb to large audiences spread over a dozen countries around the world.
Besides this, by actively networking with and participating in events organized by other bodies in the field of Mallakhamb, Deshpande has been instrumental in creating policies regarding the sport, framing syllabi for courses and generally building an environment in which the sport will be able to thrive.
However, it is in the small things that one sees the real work done by the man. Despite his heavy schedules, he personally trains visually challenged children from the school for the blind to perform on the rope. A simple, down to earth man, he always has time for anyone who wants to know about the sport and is always willing to teach it himself. It is this that has taken the sport a long way.