Badminton enthusiasts and players had a perfect opportunity to showcase their talents earlier in January at the George Miller Memorial Summer Badminton League organised by the Telugu Badminton Club of Canterbury.

The tournament is named after badminton legend and patron of The Canterbury Badminton Association George Miller for his contribution and service in developing the sport in the Canterbury region.

The league was held on 8th, 15th, 22nd and on 29th January  at Badminton Canterbury in Christchurch.

The players were divided into four groups of eight players each. Each group came up with four doubles team with highly skilled players making Level 1 and low skilled as Level 4. The league matches were played every Wednesday in which each group mixed its players with other levels and play again with other groups. The group with most wins in the league were declared winners of the tournament.

The players of the winning group were led by Arjuna Salinda as captain, Sundeep Daggubati, Prasad Pagadala, Aman Kedia, Rajeswar Pedisetti, Sandesh Codhadu, and Ashok Ambati.

From each level, one player was selected who displayed all-round skills across the league which was based on win-loss ratio, skill, passion, team player role, willingness to share their game knowledge and were honoured with the medals.

Level 1 – Ben Jose – Gold medal
Level 2 – Monty  Sundaram Kumar  – Gold medal
Level 3 – Sai Babu Inampudi – Silver medal
Level 4 – Thimith Jinadasa – Silver medal

George Miller League was supported by Designer Homes, Christchurch, with Hitesh Sharma, the director of Revel Events invited as the chief guest.

Mr Sharma presented prizes and medals to the winners and congratulated the players and organisers for their efforts in the memorial event together.

“The highlight of this league was participation from several Indian communities and other nationals. The success of this event has motivated TBCC to hold similar leagues in the future,” organiser of the tournament, Rajeshwar Peddisetti told The Indian Weekender.

“Apart from contiunuing to conduct a couple of tournaments (one day) every year, TBCC will now also organise similar leagues quarterly. TBCC is providing professional coaching to the enthusiasts and they have two BWF (Badminton Wold Federation) certified coaches and soon another coach will be joining the team,” Mr Peddisetti added.

About George Miller: George’s association with The Canterbury Badminton Association (as it was known) began in 1957 and continued until 2003. He was one of the leading “drivers” behind the construction of the original four court Badminton Hall. This construction began in 1959 and was completed almost entirely by volunteer labour, ready for the first inter-club game in 1960.

George served as President from 1963–68, and from 1970 to 2000 George headed the Umpires Association and trained and examined many umpires. He was Deputy Referee in the 1974 Commonwealth games and controller of linesmen and service judges. George Miller passed away in August 2019 at the age of 101.