The facilities and infrastructure of The Club have been enhanced significantly over the last few years to both benefit the existing Club Members and to attract new Members and Guests to The Club.
The prime focus of The Club is to provide a central point for community based activities and interaction; as a result, the main facilities fall into one of two categories – Social and Entertainment Facilities and Sports Facilities; The Club also provides certain other additional facilities for the benefit of the Members both as individuals and as groups.
The Club’s facilities can be detailed as follows:
The Club’s sporting focus is represented on The Club’s Executive Committee by four members with specific sports portfolios:
CRICKET/ HOCKEY SECRETARY
INDOOR GAMES SECRETARY
The Indian Club Tennis Section has been in existence from the very early days of The Club’s origins as “The Bahrain Sports Club”; the Tennis section was started a handful of enthusiasts, the majority of whom were officers from the security force who liked to have a game of tennis and then relax and socialize with the family within The Club surroundings.
The Club has two concrete floodlit courts marked out on the multi-purpose hard-court area at The Club’s Gudaibiya premises – these courts see plenty of action from Sunday through Wednesday as sectional members enjoy daily ‘social’ match-play in the late afternoon / early evenings.
Open Tournaments are run on a regular basis to include sectional members and Non Club Members across Intermediate and Advanced levels – The Club’s Tennis Section maintains a healthy relationship with other tennis clubs and associations in the Kingdom of Bahrain and there is always a keenness on everyone’s part to participate in the tournaments that The Club’s Tennis Section organizes.
The Club has also been the home of one of the Island’s most prestigious Annual Open Tennis Championships since it was first inaugurated in 1948, with the event showcasing a wide range of talent, both local and international, over the years.
Multi-purpose hard-court area capable of use for 5/6 a side fooball, 7 a side soft-ball cricket, 6 a side hockey and volleyball.
Cricket is the ‘life-blood’ of any Indian community, club or association and The Indian Club is no different – The Club has a very active cricket section that organizes regular tournaments on the multi-purpose hard-court area and participates in the Bahrain Cricket League.
The two main tournaments that the Cricket Section organizes each year are the 7-A-Side Open Softball Cricket Tournament and the 7-A-Side Indian Expat Softball Cricket Tournament; both of these events attract a significant number of teams across anumber of different age groups and include a wide range of the cricketing talent on the Island; these multi-week tournaments provide a great focus not only for the players but for the supporters too and create a lot of activity and excitement around The Club.
More social, fun, but still competitive tournaments are also included in the section’s schedule of events.
In recent years, The Club has been graced with visits from some of India’s cricketing greats including World Cup winning Captain and Indian Legend, Kapil Dev, who visited The Club in 2008 and Indian test star, who actually inaugurated The Deuce Lounge.
The latest cricketing stars from the homeland to visit The Club was India’s National Blind Cricket squad who came to The Club in June 2015 en route back from a successful series in England. They gave the interested audience a thrilling demonstration of the skill, determination and commitment required to be the double World Cup winning squad that they are.
Although there is no Indian Club representative football team in any of the local Bahraini leagues, The Club’s Football Section is still very active in organizing tournaments on the multi-purpose hard-court area for a number of age groups.
Football tournaments are organized each year; the age groups are usually Under 15, Under 19 and Open, with each category attracting a healthy number of entries; football evenings at The Club are usually pretty raucous with a lot of vocal support on offer to the teams playing, particularly the teams in the younger age category.
Celebrity football visitors to The Club include IM Vijayan, the former Indian National Football Captain, who was Chief Guest for the Finals Day of The Indian Club Centenary Football Cup in November, 2014 and Mohammed Al Sharqawi, the Bahrain National Futsal Captain, who was on hand to present the trophies to the winning teams in.
One of the smaller sections of The Club’s sports activities but nevertheless, a major part of India’s sporting heritage, which is recognized by The Club organizing an annual 6-a-side Hockey Tournament on the multi-purpose hard-court area for a number of local, regional and international teams specifically invited for the event.
The last edition of this annual hockey-fest was The Indian Club Centenary Hockey Cup which was held in November, 2014; teams came from Bahrain, India and Kuwait with the trophies and medals being presented by Mr Joaquim Carvalho, former Indian National Hockey Team player and coach, and his wife, Ms Vanada Rao, herself a Double Olympian for India.
The Indian Club has played host and organizer to a number of significant international volleyball tournaments over the years; although not a regular element of The Club’s sporting schedule, it is a very popular sport with the Indian community and the events staged by The Club have always attracted large crowds.
The last large-scale tournament was held in April 2014; it was an 8 team event, with each event ‘sponsored’ by a local individual or enterprise – such sponsors being at liberty to bring in key stars from India and elsewhere to enhance the quality of their team; a number of Indian National Team players played in the event, including Tom Josephs, the then Captain of the Indian National Volleyball Team.
The Club’s Badminton section is the largest and most active individual section within The Club, boasting around 150 active members; its activities are focused in The Club’s Sanskar Hall, which has two wooden floored courts.
The sectional membership is split into a number of groups based on performance and experience; the various groups follow a rotational schedule of evening match sessions, which are allocated on a group by group basis to each Sunday through Wednesday; early morning play is also available on a daily basis to all sectional members.
In addition to the ongoing group ‘social’ match-play, The Club’s Badminton Section is very active in organizing regular tournaments throughout the year for all sectional members to participate in; The Club is becoming more pro-active in establishing relations with other community clubs and organizing a number of inter-club tournaments.
The Club also has a proud legacy in organizing Annual Open Badminton Tournaments; from small beginnings in 1945, recent years have seen The Club host and organize the most prestigious badminton events ever held in The Kingdom of Bahrain – expanding a local event to first of all include the rest of the GCC countries and then onto the world-stage for a Badminton World Federation Challenge level tournament, with prize money of USD 15,000, the largest badminton purse ever played for in Bahrain.
The most recent editions of The Bahrain International Challenge Tournament, held in November 2013 and 2014, each attracted over 100 world class international players from more than 20 countries and were graced with the presence of top Indian badminton players as Chief Guests – Jawala Gutta in 2013 and Ashwini Ponnappa in 2014.
The Club has introduced a Badminton Academy with coaching courses provided by Indonesian coaches to players of all ages, all abilities and Members / Non-Members alike. Further details on The Indian Club Badminton Academy can be found here
The Indoor Game Section comprises a wide range of games for Club Members, including Darts, Snooker, Table Tennis, Carrom and Chess. The Indoor games section organizes different tournaments for its members, members’ families and sometimes open tournaments as a means to encourage interaction with other clubs and associations.
There is at least one main tournament organized each year for each of the individual sports within The Club’s Indoor Games section.
Other one-off tournaments are also organized. As an example, The Indian Club Centenary Snooker Tournament was played in October, 2014 with prize money of BD 1,500 – the ‘richest’ ever snooker tournament in Bahrain. Top regional stars including India’s No 4 Mohammed Faisal Khan and the Afghanistan No 1 Mohammed Saleh, together with all the top local players participated; the final rounds being played out in a proper ‘snooker auditorium’ set-up in the Sanskar Hall in the presence of the Chief Guest, Mr Arvind Saver, former Indian National Snooker Coach..