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Cyrus Poncha Biography: Squash | Age | Career | Blog | Coach

Cyrus Poncha is a Dronacharya award-winning Indian squash coach. At an early stage of his illustrious career in the sport, Poncha realised that the squash ecosystem in India was more in need of talented coaches than players. He realised through his experiences that there is a lack of guidance in the field. This is exactly why he decided to focus his energy on coaching budding players.

With his noble vision and continued focus on uplifting squash infrastructure and training in India, Poncha has been able to bring to the forefront some of the most successful squash players like Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal Karthik, and Saurav Ghoshal among others.

All this while, he has been staying backstage and revelling in the glory of his students. It’s time to bring this selfless teacher in the spotlight!

Details
Full Name
Cyrus Poncha
Age
43
Sport Category
Squash | General, Squash Racquets Federation of India
Hometown
Mumbai

Cyrus Poncha Biography

Early Life

Cyrus Poncha was born and brought up in Mumbai. He started playing squash at quite an early age. When he was 18, Poncha started coaching other squash players on weekends. He realised during that phase how much he enjoyed coaching.

“When I was playing as a junior in Bombay, there weren’t too many coaches to help us. So I took it upon myself to help the kids out over the weekends which would eventually spread over weekdays,” he was quoted by The Bridge.

Poncha’s initiative found many takers and many parents showed a lot of appreciation and encouragement. When he was just a junior level player, he was already a club-level coach!

Mumbaikar Poncha shifted base to Chennai and started working under Maj Maniam, a Malaysian coach. This came out to be a turning point for Poncha.

Also Read | How to play Squash: A complete guide for beginners 

Career

Cyrus Poncha KreedOn
Indian squash Team at Zurich, Switzerland in 2008 where it finished 4th. In pic: Cyrus Poncha, Major. S Maniam. Front – Ramit Tandon, Ravi Dixit, Vikram Malhotra, Aditya Jagtap | Credits SRFI

Poncha has been an integral part of the Indian squash circuit at both junior and senior levels. He has shaped the careers of many, with three of his prodigies being in the world top 20.  Poncha has mastered the art of handling juniors and seniors accordingly. It is not possible to keep the same perspective when dealing with players from diverse age groups. Starting out young has helped Poncha be considerate of the exact training requirements of his students.

One budding star who was honed by Poncha is Valavan Senthilkumar. He became an instant sensation in the junior squash circuit and became the U-19 World No. 1.

Poncha has also helped senior players like Saurav Ghoshal, Dipika Pallikal, Joshana Chinappa, and Harinder Pal Sandhu. His approach to training the more experienced lot is entirely different and has helped him connect with them better.

Poncha started coaching at the ICL – TNSRA Academy in Chennai. Squash Racquets Federation of India runs the academy. Very soon, Poncha became the National coach of the Squash Rackets Federation of India.

In June 2019, Cyrus Poncha was elected unopposed as the new Secretary-General of the Squash Rackets Federation of India. He will hold the position for a period of four years 2019-2023.

Awards

  • Dronacharya Award, 2005
  • Asian Squash Federation Junior Coach of the Year, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2014, and 2016

Unknown Facts about Cyrus Poncha

  • Poncha idolizes Egyptian legend, Ramy Ashour, and is a big fan of his attractive displays.
  • Former Secretary-General of SRFI, Mr N. Ramachandran has had a lot of influence on Cyrus Poncha’s career. No wonder then, that Cyrus credits him for where he is today.

Social Media: Cyrus Poncha

There’s no doubt that the entire squash circuit in India has gone through some radical changes in the last few years. Of course, Poncha’s contribution has been crucial. Earlier considered as an elitist sport, today squash has more followers and active players. Yet, Poncha is trying to get more corporate backing to the sport. He also feels that the sport requires more TV coverage.

With optimistic and involved coaches like Cyrus Poncha, squash sure has golden opportunities in India. His work on the grassroots level is truly commendable.

Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.

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