By: Vivian Liu
MSJ Key Club hosted its 7th annual Charity Badminton Tournament from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on March 2 at the Bay Badminton Center in Milpitas for the benefit of The Eliminate Project.
The tournament kicked off as soon as the first matches in the events began. The tournament allowed players to sign up for men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Throughout the day, up to 12 matches would go on at any given time on the courts. The structure of the tournament divided players into flights B, C, and D. The B flight was for advanced players, the C flight was for intermediate players, and the D flight was for recreational players. Winners of each round had to advance through as many as three rounds, quarterfinals, and semifinals before making it to the finals in their flight. Those who lost previous rounds continued to play in consolation rounds. Trophies were awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and Consolation Winners in every flight and event.
A total of 327 players from all over the Bay Area attended to represent their colleges, high schools, clubs, and badminton centers. From MSJ, 24 students and three parents played to “serve a birdie, save a life”. Winners from MSJ included Senior Yik Hin Wong and alumni Derrick Kai Long and Danae Long. John Hopkins Jr. High was also represented by eighth grade winners Danice Long, Christine Yu, and Cindy Yuan and Hopkins PE Teacher Matthew Walker, who played in mixed doubles. Former world champion in men’s doubles Halim Haryanto Ho was also present to participate in mixed doubles.
All proceeds generated went towards The Eliminate Project, a joint venture between Kiwanis International and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to combat maternal and neonatal tetanus, which causes excruciating convulsions and hypersensitivity in newborns and women. The charity works towards immunizing future mothers and children. Junior Jesse Lu said, “I’m very humbled to be a small part of a big movement.” Senior Young Chen said, “I think it’s a great way to help people in need and also get exercise at the same time.”
Since the first few Charity Badminton Tournaments held in MSJ’s gym, the tournament has grown considerably. By the end of the tournament, MSJ Key Club had raised a total of over $3000 for the Eliminate Project from the proceeds of registration, matches, and vending. With regards to how the tournament turned out, Charity Badminton Tournament Director and Sophomore Alan Chuang said, “The event was very successful compared to previous years. However, since this was my first year as the head of the committee and tournament director of the tournament, I made mistakes. This year was an amazing learning experience for me and hopefully the event will grow in the years to come!”