The University’s Badminton Club held its 3rd Annual Charity Singles Tournament on Sunday, 27 Oct 2013. Twenty-six men and women came together in support of a worthy cause and to battle it out to be crowned Badminton Club Singles Champion 2013.
After raising money for Disability Sport Fife last year, the Club decided to extend its reach beyond Scotland to support a Kenyan-based organization, Umoja Women. Founded in 1991 by Rebecca Lolosoli, Umoja Women is an endeavor that provides women and girls in the Samburu community in Kenya with education and socioeconomic support. Such is the plight of women in the Samburu community that Rebecca’s work has received international recognition culminating in her receiving the Global Leadership Award by Hillary Clinton in 2010. Given that Club Captain, Maneesh Kuruvilla, had the opportunity to visit Umoja Women this summer and meet with Rebecca and in light of the tragedy that happened in Nairobi last month, the Committee felt that this was the right cause for the Singles Championship to be tied to.
Club Championship Singles Tournament
Congratulations to Maneesh Kuruvilla and Krista Plociennik for being crowned singles champions 2013/14
The Championship began with the men and women’s group stages where the top 2 in each group advanced to the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively. The Club was proud to welcome Rob Edson, CFO of parcel delivery company MyHermes, who made a special appearance at the event and was a wildcard entrant. MyHermes is the official kit sponsor for the Badminton 1st Team. After a break for lunch, play resumed with the commencement of the knockout stages. Spectators were treated to some high-quality badminton with the top badminton players in the University showcasing their skills in closely fought encounters.
In the women’s category, Krista Plociennik was crowned Women’s Singles Champion after an extended match against Hayleigh Edson (21-9, 20-22, 21-17). Hayleigh was trying to reproduce the game of her life she had in the group stage, beating Krista to top the group but after getting pumped in the first game by a brilliantly on form Krista she had to find something new. Hayleigh, spurred on by her on-looking dad, managed to take the second set after a few mistakes from Krista opened the door for a win. In the end, Krista's dominance, fitness and experience shone through as she stormed to a win after the third set. Congratulations to both the girls. This win built on Krista's heartbreaking 4th place finish last year and Hayleigh absolutely outdid herself reaching the final, considering the previous year she was easily knocked out finishing bottom in the group stage.
In the other final, Maneesh Kuruvilla saw out a fierce challenge from Daniel Myers in three games (13-21, 21-17, 21-18) to become Men’s Singles Champion. This would be Maneesh's third year in a row of clinching the final and second year in a row beating Danny to the title. The game was intense and all the on-looking members were enthralled by the high-quality shots being played by both men. Following from the first game, where Maneesh has said he was surprised by Danny's fierce attacking start, Maneesh stepped up his game to take the second and third sets after close encounters. Congratulations to Maneesh and Daniel for their achievements in this 'grudge match'. In the third place play offs, Antje Kremer and Alex Caughey secured victories in the women and men’s categories respectively following some more close matches.
After the match Club President, Jeremy Hipps, presented the winners’ prizes. This was followed by a raffle of which 100% of the proceeds went go towards Umoja Women. Prizes included a top-end Ashaway badminton racket and racket bag from official shuttle supplier, Goode Sport, as well as a burger voucher from Food & Beverage partner, Rascals Bar. Through the raffle, the Club was able to raise over £130, which will go towards meeting a teacher’s salary for a month at the recently constructed children’s school in Umoja Women’s Village. To cap off a fun and exhilarating day, everyone headed over to Rascals who kindly provided all participants with complementary food.