By: Staff Writer Cindy Yuan
MSJ Key Club held its ninth annual Charity Badminton Tournament (CBT) on February 27 to 28 at Bay Badminton Center in Milpitas. The event was organized primarily by five MSJ students: Seniors Saurav Kadavath and Kevin Nguyen, Junior Sarah Chang, and Sophomores Danice Long and Howard Tay. This year, CBT attracted many local badminton players as well as MSJ students, totaling up to 437 entries and 347 players in over 20 events.
This year, the goal of the tournament was to raise money to help cure Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus (MNT), a disease affecting mothers and their newborns in less fortunate countries around the world, through the Kiwanis Eliminate Project. When mothers give birth in unclean environments, their children may grow up with this disease and die within a few months. The purpose of the Eliminate Project is to raise funds to provide vaccines to mothers around the world and its mission is to eliminate MNT.
CBT originally started as a small, one-day tournament in the MSJ gym with six courts and only 50 players. But after nine years of growth, CBT is now a two-day tournament with hundreds of entries, held at a proper badminton gym. “It has definitely grown within these past nine years, and I think it’s just really important to see how, not only are we helping the community and other people, but we can also spread awareness about badminton since it is a really underspoken sport,” said Long, who headed the CBT committee.
This year’s CBT has had the most players and entries since it was first held in 2005. “I think we got these results because we really built up our title within these past nine years, and people see us as a really fun tournament where people can just come together,” said Long. This year’s CBT raised $8,100 towards helping cure MNT, compared to last year’s total of about $5,500. This year’s tournament also had the lowest entry fees, with prices lowered to $12-15 from the $15-20 fee of years before.
The CBT committee planned the tournament from events to running the event, and had an official umpire, Kevin Banh, who helped out with online entries and ensured that the entire tournament ran smoothly. In addition, Bay Badminton Center manager Jason Liu helped rent out the gym to Key Club, and the staff helped out on the day of the tournament. Key Club members also earned service hours by helping out by updating draws or doing anything else that needed to be done to keep the tournament running smoothly. “We’ve been doing this for about three or four years now, so every year we will hold this time slot just for Mission San Jose to hold this tournament…it’s good for badminton, it’s good for Mission San Jose, and it’s for a great cause, said Liu.
“I decided to play this tournament because first of all, I want to support charity…so I think it’s very important to help an organization like this. Second, many people participated in this event…it’s nice to meet new people, and get to know new friends, and just have fun,” expressed Bay Badminton Center Head Coach Kowi Chandra, who partnered with Chang to win the Funky Doubles event.
Between the hundreds of eager participants and a group of committed volunteers, Key Club’s ninth annual CBT was a huge success, and they look toward repeating or surpassing this achievement in upcoming years.
Photos Courtesy of Danice Long