Goa Badminton Association assisted the Sports Authority of Goa in conducting, selecting and deputing the Goa Team for the Khelo India Games at Hyderabad. Amidst a tough competition featuring around 22 States, the Goa contingent emerged with a creditable haul of 3 bronze medals at the Khelo India Nationals held at Hyderabad, Telengana from February 11 to 16, 2017, in U14 & U17 Badminton Boys and Girls events.
Bronze medal was won by the Goa Girls Under 17 Team comprising of Anjana Kumari, Yasmin Sayed, Rhea Mallya, Saachi Dhavalikar and Isha Kulkarni. In individual events, Anjana Kumari won Bronze in Girls Under 17 while Lydia Barreto and Aahana Nayak won Bronze in Under 14 Girls doubles. In other team events, Goa teams fought hard but lost narrowly with 2-1 score lines.
Arjun Fallary and Rudra Dukle played exceedingly well to reach Boys Under 14 doubles quarters while there were a few other notable performances from Sushil Nayak, Yasmin Sayed, Yash Kunkalienkar, Saachi Dhavalikar, Simran Pathak, Tejas Tendulkar, Ayaan Sheikh, Sreyas Tendulkar and Joseph Anthony. Though few players did not get a chance to participate, they were there side -by-side with the teams, cheering them on to win which was laudable.
Following Players/ officials were part of the Goa Team contingent:
Boys Under 14 : Arjun Fallary, Rudra Dukle, Soham Khandeparkar, Ayaan Shaikh and Tejas Tendulkar.
Boys Under 17: Yash Kunkolienkar, Joseph Anthony, Sushil Nayak, Sreyas Tendulkar and Mohammad Sadik Attar.
Girls Under 14: Lydia Barreto, Aahana Nayak, Simran Pathak, Rhucha Bhobe and Manpreet Kaur.
Girls Under 17: Anjana Kumari, Yasmin Sayed, Rhea Mallya, Sachi Dhavalikar and Isha Kulkarni
Officials: Mr. Roy Ataide, Mr. Sandeep Heble, Mrs Shainaj Shaikh and Mr. Kenneth Fernandes while Mr. Vinayak Kamat ably supported the team as a Coach.
Though participants faced few difficulties, they did not let that dampen their spirits and had a great time at the Games. Some of them got the opportunity to meet and interact with India’s Badminton sporting icon P.V. Sindhu which was an amazing inspirational moment for them all.
A special thanks to the officials and parents who accompanied the team, took excellent care of the children and assisted the Team management in performing various tasks. Our player Mohammad Sadik Attar did an excellent job taking pictures which would be fond memories to all. Gratitude to our coaches Roy Ataide and Vinayak Kamat who put in a lot of hard work and were on the courts throughout the duration of the matches. Roy in particular who stayed behind following delay in U17 Girls match and Mrs Shainaj Shaikh who stayed with the Girls Team deserve special mention.
Thanks to the Sports Authority of Goa (SAG), its Executive Director Mr. V.M. Prabhudesai and Khelo India Coordinator Ms. Monica Dourado for the initiative taken to depute Goa Teams to participate at the Khelo India Games. Kudos to the Goa Khelo India Team for the honours achieved.
- Sandeep Heble (Team Manager)