January 28, 2017
Filed under SPORTS
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As high school athletics become increasingly competitive, winning is often the primary goal of student-athletes. In an effort to promote inclusiveness in a noncompetitive environment, sophomore Jessica Choi, juniors Aviv Benchorin, Ryan Liao, Bhavesh Manivannan, and senior Joseph Liu created Cupertino High School’s first annual badminton tournament, which took place from Monday, Jan. 23rd to Thursday, Jan. 26th.
Said ASB Clubs Commissioner Ruchi Shah, “These types of tournaments allow for people of different diversities to get together and play a sport that they love.”
Players of all skill and grade levels were encouraged to take part in this tournament. Said one of the organizers, Jessica Choi, “We created the ‘varsity rule,’ where varsity players are not allowed to play [on each other’s teams] in the tournament, which allows for more inclusiveness and prevents beginners from getting eliminated in the first round.”
In line with the organizers’ objective of inclusiveness, teams of all skill levels participated in the tournament. Students who were not on the school’s badminton team enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their abilities. While many badminton team members played in the tournament, a majority of participants were beginners.
Said junior and two-year badminton team member Urvashi Mahto, “I did not want to play [in this tournament] competitively, I just wanted to play for fun. My partner, Jack Wang, never really played badminton before, [but] he actually went to Bintang [Badminton Club] and practiced [for this tournament]. It was a really fun experience for the both of us.”
Seeing that this was the first student-organized badminton tournament in the history of Cupertino High School, the coordinators were unsure of what to anticipate.“We did not expect as many people, especially spectators,” Choi said. “We had at least 50 spectators on Monday, so we were taken aback a little. Because of this, we tried to prepare a lot for Thursday, because the turnout was beyond our expectation.”
Said Shah, “I have high hopes for the tournament next year. [It] will definitely have more if not the same amount of participation and will flow better now that [the coordinators] have the experience.”
The tournament came to a close with Nathan Chiang and Raymond Ji winning the title of “Supreme Champion,” Aviv Benchorin and Yiu Tong Shing winning “Worthy Adversary” and Ryan Liao and Grace Till winning the bronze title of “Maybe Next Time.”