Kankia Academy Badminton girls made their maiden participation in the State Badminton Championships’14, organized by the Orissa State Badminton Association held in Mahanadi club at NTPC Kaniha, Odisha between 31st championships where two girls competed in the U-17 age category while the remaining participated in the U-15 age category. Both age categories had participants in singles and doubles formats.
The girls made their debut in the state competition, being their first ever competitive outing, with some individual brilliance during the matches but were eventually outclassed by players who had the experience of playing regular competitive tournaments. Pramodani Jani and Baiseba Gamango, both competing in the U-17 age category, were the stand out players for the academy showing promise for the future, while the latter also came up with a decent performance in the doubles, pairing up with Chumuki Pradhan.
Though they found it tough and were not satisfied with the end results, they really enjoyed all the games they played.
Speaking about their experience in their maiden tournament, the girls said “Being our first competition, we were nervous in handling ourselves on and off the court but by the end of the championships we definitely improved on that note from watching the former national level players perform and we would see this more like a learning curve and will come back strong.”
Though the girls are still considered beginners in the sport, but as part of a Development Program initiated by Pro Sport Development, they were sent to compete in the championships to get an experience of playing in a State level competition where they have the chance to rub shoulders with former national level players, which would enhance their growth.
At the start of 2014, as part of strengthening the badminton in the Gram Vikas Schools in Odisha, Pro Sport Development had come up with a Badminton Development Program to develop the sport at the grassroots level which had been quite unfamiliar to the children until then. The program primarily concentrates on increasing the participation in badminton followed by taking in children who have the willingness to make it to the next level by providing them dietary requirements along with additional support from the conditioning coaches.
The management is quite happy with the progress the girls have made in the past six months and are now looking forward to working on the physical requirements of the girls, which has been the major setback for the girls during the competition.
In the light of this, Kankia academy’s physio and athletic therapy intern Colm O’Toole has already performed posture analysis and functional movement screen (FMS) tests, on the Badminton girls’ team. Based on the results, individuals will be given exercises which would improve their flexibility and mobility, leading them to perform better under the physical requirements aspect.
We look forward to seeing our girls competing in other competitions in the near future, and taking their performance to the next level. We are also preparing the boys team to a level where they can compete at district and state level competitions, which ensures that Khel Vikas is represented in Badminton by both boys and girls.