The newly-formed Telugu Badminton Club of Canterbury (TBCC), which is a part of the Telugu Association of South Island (TasiNZ), successfully organised the first-ever Mahatma Gandhi badminton tournament on Saturday with 32 players from all four South Indian communities - Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalis – participating.

Mr Rajeswar Peddisetti, Organiser of TBCC, informed, “This was the first-ever sports event held exclusively for the South Indian communities in Canterbury. We played men's doubles with 16 teams playing a total of 32 matches. The final was won by the team of Pavan Kumar Kruthiniti (from Telugu community) and Elshin Joel (from Tamil community) in straight games with the scores of 21-14, 21-14. Overall, the matches were very intense, with the semi-finals being the highlight of the entire tournament.”

The Christchurch Kerala Association (CKA) which fielded six teams, also performed reasonably well with two of its teams placed at second and third positions, with the team of Mr Jibin Joseph and Mr Roby Phoncy being the loosing finalists.  

The winners were given medals, certificates and sports gear by members of the Canterbury Indian Community Centre Trust (CICCT) including Mr Natu Rama, Mr Rajiv Gulati, and Mr Diwakar Kandula.

Giving a vote of thanks in the end, Mr Peddisetti announced a donation of 10 percent of the proceeds from the tournament to CICCT, which was incorporated last year to build an Indian community centre in Christchurch.