Devendran (left) sorting out shuttlecocks with a team mate during one of the practice sessions for the Muhibbah Badminton Championships 2014.
FEW things bring people together like sports.
In conjunction with Merdeka Day, Michael’s Badminton Academy (MBA) is bringing back the MBA Muhibbah Badminton Championships.
The unique doubles competition, held for the sixth year runnning, requires participants to play together with a partner of a different race.
The three-day tournament will be held from Aug 30 to Sept 1 at MBA Bandar Puteri, Puchong.
MBA founder and managing director Michael Lee said it was a special event to celebrate the spirit of togetherness and unity.
“We managed to get about 600 participants last year,” said Lee.
However, he said since it was tournament season, they were expecting a lower turnout of about 300 players this time around.
There will be 10 age categories, ranging from junior to senior.
Lee added that this was an initiative to actively promote healthy living and friendship through sports.
Champions in each category will get a winner’s certificate, a medal and sports equipment vouchers worth RM400.
Joining for the second time in the Muhibbah championships is businessman Ahmad Supri, 47.
Affectionately known as ‘Taufik’, Supri has been playing badminton since 1982 and was a state player for Kedah back in his school days.
He will be pairing with friend Philip Tay, whom he knew through playing in tournaments.
“When you’re playing, you have one goal in mind, which is to enjoy a good game. Who you play with doesn’t matter,” he said.
Contesting in the junior category is student Devendran Subramaniam, 15.
Devendran will be pairing with a Chinese friend to compete in his first Muhibbah badminton contest.
“It’s not difficult to find a partner, as I have many friends from other races,” said Devendran, adding that he had confidence to win the matches.
Meanwhile, Mohd Najib Mohd Yusuf, 54, will be pairing with Lee.
The newcomer to badminton got involved in the sport when he started sending his son to MBA for training last year.
“We are a badminton nation. It’s like our national sport.
“As long as you bring a racquet and sportswear, you can join almost anyone on the court,” said Mohd Najib, who said he had made a lot of new friends through the game.
During the tournament, there will also be food stalls, traditional games such as congkak and fun contests for families.
The contest is supported by Yayasan 1Malaysia, Sports Unite, 100 Plus, Milo and IOI Properties.
Those who wish to register for the 6th MBA Muhibbah Badminton Championships can do so by logging on to www.mba101badminton.com or get registration forms at MBA.
Registration closes today.
For enquiries, call 03-8060 9101.