Sports in Mumbai

Unfortunately for the athletically inclined, most of Mumbai’s sporting facilities are restricted to private clubs like the Willingdon, Bombay Gymkhana, Otters Club and Khar Gymkhana. Some of them like the Breach Candy Club do offer temporary membership if you’re a visitor, but the decision is left to the discretion of the governing committee.

However, there are some activities you can enjoy. If you like fishing, the Maharashtra State Angling association organizes the occasional trip to suburban lakes and picnic spots and the members are a friendly lot. For football fans, the Western India Football Association at the Cooperage grounds in South Mumbai also arranges various matches. Ditto for the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association, which is the only place where you can toss a ball, apart from the private courts in clubs. At Apollo Bunder, the Royal Bombay Yatch Club next to the Taj has sailing excursions every Saturday; visitors who want to sign up as crew members need only know a rig from a prow. And at the Mahalaxmi Race Course you can actually hire a mount from the Amateur Riders Club. Most of these facilities are pretty reasonable (Rs. 5 to Rs. 150 per session) and the administration is quite efficient.

However if you can swing it and get a member to take you, Mumbai’s private sports clubs are excellent. They were established in the heyday of the Raj, and although much of this culture still remains – members sit on wicker garden furniture and ring little brass bells to summon the waiters – you can also enjoy a modern game of tennis or squash, swim in Olympic sized pools, play rugby, or even that old British favourite , cricket. Wash down the experience with a mug of chilled beer and kebabs

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