For one of the many buildings in Panjim that has stood the test of time, the Panjim Gymkhana in Campal is a well-known landmark to most people that live here. However, time was was not kind to the building’s structure and after almost two years of renovations, the first phase of the new club is all set to welcome members on 26th January. It will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar.
Panjim Gymkhana reinvented and rejuvenated
Panjim Gymkhana was registered in 1963 had its first structure in place in 1968. Since then, it has been used by its members as a cricket ground, table tennis, carrom hall and cards game room. The renovation works were decided by the managing committee headed by Manoj Caculo in 2012 and the foundation stone was laid in 2016 after all necessary permissions were obtained.
“The managing committee had decided to dress the Gymkhana after we were elected in 2012. However, since a lot of permissions were needed, work started only in January 2016 and we are ready to inaugurate the first phase on January 26,” stated managing committee president Manoj Caculo.
It’s clear that the managing committee has big plans for Panjim Gymkhana. There are still two more phases left to complete however more investors are required for this to happen. “The first phase cost us around Rs 10 crores. The first phase consists of a dressing room for players, an umpire room, restaurant, two floodlit tennis courts, swimming pool and facilities for the indoor games,” disclosed Manoj.
The new Panjim Gymkhana will also have a lot more facilities than it previously did. There will be more areas allotted for certain sports which couldn’t be accommodated earlier due to a serious lack of space.
The cricket ground at Panjim Gymkhana
For the veterans of Panjim Gymkhana, it may be remembered that the club used to host the Germania cricket tournament and the Bandodkar Cricket tournament annually and the Angley Table Tennis tournament.
“The GCA has promised to help us in building the cricket ground and work on the ground has started with the help of some philanthropists. The GCA will do the remaining development work once they get the necessary grants from BCCI,” stated Manoj.
“The cricket ground should be ready for the next season. In the meanwhile, we shall commence our table tennis and other indoor tournaments,” he added.
Additionally, there are plans to introduce coaching classes by seasoned Ranji Trophy players who got their start in the sport at this very same ground.
It may be noted here that the Panjim Gymkhana has three teams – Panjim Gymkhana, Panjim Gymkhana A and Panjim Gymkhana B – that participated in various cricket tournaments. “We could not carry on with the teams because there came a time when we had to get players from outside to play for us. That is why we are thinking of this coaching programme,” explained Manoj.
One thing’s for sure, the Panjim Gymkhana premises are looking extremely snazzy. There is hope that the new club lives up to everyone’s expectations and is a grand success in the future as well.
Panjim Gymkhana is located on Dayanand Bandodkar Marg which is the main, tree-lined avenue running from the Panjim market right up to Miramar beach. Other close landmarks include Taverna Pub, The Fitness Bar and COMO: Designer Collective.
Information credit – The Navhind Times