"The DRRC Indoor Stadium which was built in 1980, has witnessed many national and international events" said AP Badminton Association treasurer Ankamma Chowdary

Municipal Commissioner Abdul Azeem on Friday said that participation in sports and games will not only improve the mental and physical faculties but also help the youngsters develop their overall personality to suit the highly competitive modern world.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day Krishna District Badminton Championship at DRRC Indoor Stadium, Mr. Azeem said that corporation was giving importance for sports and games by sprucing up infrastructure. “It is nice to know that international shuttler Chetan Anand was a product of Vijayawada,” said the civic chief who took charge recently.

Andhra Pradesh Badminton Association treasurer Ankamma Chowdary said that after 2002 National Games at Hyderabad, badminton activity got shifted from Vijayawada to Hyderabad. “The Government built good stadiums for the event and with former all-England champion Pullela Gopichand starting his academy, the cream of badminton players left Vijayawada. Till than Vijayawada was the hub of AP badminton”.

He said that the city had produced more than a dozen quality shuttlers and prominent among them were Chetan Anand, Neelima Chowdary, A. Prudhvi, Sunil Chowdary, P.V.V. Lakshmi, P.V. Sarada, J.B.S. Vidhadhar, Kiran Kumar, Radhika Reddy, Srilakshmi, and A. Swetha who went on to don the Indian colours.

Mr. Chowdary said that the stadium, which was built in 1980, has witnessed many national and international events. “When both SAAP and SAI academies were active, badminton was ruling the roost in the city,” he pointed out.

Krishna District Badminton Association president K. Pattabhi Ram said that district teams to take part in the various state tournaments will be selected at the conclusion of this tournament. The organisers introduced Sonika Sai, a national under-15 player to the chief guest, who declared the tournament open.

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