Pujari badminton and table tennis tournament
(Photos: Courtesy of Suddhasish and Anushmita)
Pujari, an Atlanta Bengali sociocultural nonprofit organization, hosted a badminton and table tennis tournament for its members on March 31 and April 1, 2018. The event was a huge success with around a hundred participants including players, family, and volunteers. Pujari’s mission is to promote Bengali and Indian culture by organizing various cultural and community events. Beginning last year, Pujari has begun to host sports events for its members. This was their first member-exclusive badminton and table tennis tournament. The event brought back memories of growing up playing badminton in Kolkata, where the sport is popular, especially in the winter.
The badminton tournament was held at the Atlanta Badminton Club (ABC) on March 31, and the table tennis tournament on April 1. The tournament was team-based to involve players from all levels. Four teams had six players each. Players of similar level played against each other. Each game had a single set. All points were counted, thus each player could earn a maximum of 21 points for their team. This ensured that all games were equally important, and each player, irrespective of their ability, could have fun and play an equally important role.
(Left) The winning badminton team: Nachiketa Nandy, Saugata Mandal, Abhijeet Hazra, Sanjib (Sam) Datta, Arnab Bose, and Ankur Sur kneeling, with Kallol Nandi (in red).
The badminton tournament was very well contested. Players of most teams were seen in the ABC many days of the week practicing. Many took private lessons from head coach Sai as preparation. The event generated great passion and comradeship, as well as healthy competition, and all gained from more exercise. Group B (Nachiketa, Abhijeet, Saugata, Arnab, Ankur, and Sam) won the badminton tournament with great all-around display. Captain Nachiketa led the team well and marshalled his players effectively.
(Left) Runners up badminton: Kingshuk, Prosenjit, Suddhasish, Pancho, Souren, Pabitra.
There was a tough fight for the second spot between Group A and Group D. Finally, Group A (Pancho, Souren, Suddhasish, Pabitra, Kingshuk, and Prosenjit) prevailed with dogged determination. Group A captain Pancho caused a major upset by winning against Nachi and Neil, the two best badminton players in Pujari. He eventually won all 6 of his matches (21-9, 21-18, 22-20, 21-8, 21-7) and helped Group A secure the second position.
Women’s badminton: Mayuri, Mohana, Sukanya, Rupa, and Baisakhi.
Women’s badminton was won by Mohana with 96 points. Mayuri got 87, followed by Sukanya with 80.
(Right) A tense table tennis match in progress.
(Left) Table tennis winners.
The table tennis tournament was won by the team Ping Panthers (Sachin, Prabir, Santanu, Sanjib, Kingshuk, and Neil). Sachin, their captain, won all his games 21-9, 21-7, 21-3, 21-5, 21-9 (all under 10) which became the deciding factor in the points tally. Second prize went to team Bongo Pongo (Anindya, Raja, Ambarish, Joyjit, Suddhasish, and Kaushik). It was a great contest and all players showed full commitment and sportsmanship.
All enjoyed two days of great fun. Families came to cheer the players and teams. Chandra, the owner of ABC, was there all along and supported the endeavor. Pujari’s president Raja Roy and Kallol Nandi distributed prizes to the winning teams. Everyone praised Ankur Sur, the chief organizer, along with Nachiketa Nandy for making this event possible.
A win for the Pujari community.
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