Renuga Veeran, an Indian origin shuttler from Australia, has won many hearts in New Zealand on her road to making a comeback from retirement in professional Badminton.

Mrs Veeran had played two badminton competitions in Auckland and Hamilton in a week from February 4-11, winning the first and being a runner-up in the latter.

She partnered with Leanne Choo to win women’s doubles at the Yonex North Harbour International, Auckland, held on Feb 4,  and in the next few days again participated in Victor Oceania Team Championship 2018 in Hamilton ending up being a runner-up.

Originally from Malaysia (Indo-Malaysian), Mrs Veeran has a Kiwi connection too as she is married to a Wellington-based Kiwi-Indian-Malaysian family.

Her Kiwi connection had assured her loads of support during the tournaments in Auckland and Hamilton, probably propelling her to deliver some robust performances.

However, Mrs Veeran is no stranger to high performances at such competitive levels, as she had recently also finished runners-up in the women doubles at the 2017 Yonex / K&D Graphics International Series at Los Angeles, the USA in December 2017, which was her first competition out of retirement.

Mrs Veeran had played professional badminton at the highest level for Australia before her marriage and the choice of focussing on family life about three years ago.

Mrs Veeran has been representing Australia since 2006 at the highest level of competition, participating in London Olympics 2012, Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow and 2010 in Delhi.

Three years ago, Mrs Veeran decided to take a break from the competition to focus on her new family and is now making a comeback from her retirement in view to compete in the Commonwealth Games 2018 - Gold Coast, Australia.

So far her journey has been encouraging, with the New Zealand leg of the journey being extra special as it brought her back home.

Finding time to inspire Roll Ball NZ players

It’s not only Ms Veeran’s on-court accomplishment that is winning hearts of many New Zealanders but also her off-court engagement of inspiring local NZ players of Roll Ball.

Raj Darole, Team Manager and President of Roll Ball Federation of NZ, who coordinated the meeting with Mrs Veeran, was appreciative of her aspiration to inspire the young players in between her tight training and tournaments schedules in Auckland and Hamilton.

"It's a combination of basketball, skates and netball," Mr Darole said about the sport of Roll Ball.

Roll ball is a sport similar to basketball or handball that is played on inline roller skates.

The play consists of two teams of six players each, five field players and a goaltender.

Players move toward the goal while dribbling or passing a ball similar to a basketball, with the aim of throwing the ball into a goal at each end of the court.

The team that is able to score more goals wins. 

As with the Roll Ball players, they were enthusiastic to learn few tips from Mrs Veeran who spent about an hour with them watching them practice and taking a few questions from them about preparing and competing in big events.