Professional sparring stints fund Mangaonkar's PSA tours

Mahesh Mangaonkar is currently also the official sparring partner for the Finland National team.

Mahesh Mangaonkar has worked as sparring partner for top players like Gregory Gaultier and Paul Coll.

Mahesh Mangaonkar has worked as sparring partner for top players like Gregory Gaultier and Paul Coll.   -  Prasanna Venkatesan

An interesting thing about top India squash player Mahesh Mangaonkar is that he’s become a professional sparring partner to self-fund his PSA world tour commitments.

“I don’t really have sponsors right now. And I’ve never actually been very lucky with having sponsorship. But I’ve always been very lucky with getting work.

“So, I found like another solution to this. I was like, let me make it beneficial for me and the other guy, and that kind of helps a lot,” he says on the sidelines of the HCL-SRFI India squash tour (PSA Challenger tour) at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) here on Wednesday.

He says he’s approached through his website and social media profiles. Like, he’s been approached by the Finnish National federation and he’s currently the official sparring partner for the Finland National team.

He’s also worked as sparring partner for top players like Gregory Gaultier and Paul Coll.

READ: HCL-SRFI Tour: Mahesh Mangoankar loses to Ivan Yuen in final

Apart from the money he makes, it also makes for valuable training. “I’ll do anything to train. I’m obsessed with the process of training,” he says.

That’s why, he’s been playing eight squash leagues across Europe. And getting paid for it as well. “So, like, my club manager pays for my travel, my appearance fee, and everything else - accommodation, food, whatever...

“For instance, I will be playing the Finnish league on Oct. 26th, Dutch league on 30th, German league on 2nd and 3rd, and Premier Squash League (PSL) on 4th,” he says, adding that he mostly restricts himself to playing three matches (in three different leagues) in a week.

The 25-year-old says he plays the leagues when he’s not playing the PSA world tour.

He’s based out of Helsinki now and trains with the Finland National coach.