City-born international shuttler B. Chetan Anand was the star attraction at the annual monthlong badminton summer camp at DRRMC indoor stadium, which was inaugurated by Municipal Commissioner G. Panda Das here on Thursday.
Former India No.1 player, Chetan, wearing a red T-shirt and sporting a smile, interacted with the players and also played a game partnering the Commissioner against junior India shuttler B. Venkatesh and his partner.
“I am a product of Vijayawada. This city encouraged me to become an international shuttler,” recollected Chetan, who is making a comeback after a lay-off owing to injury.
Chetan, aged 32, was once ranked World No. 10. He is now keen on improving his rankings. He has already played a couple of international fixtures to get into the groove. He is getting ready to take part in the Greece and Spanish Open tourneys in May. Eight shuttlers from the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh academy at Khammam, who participated in various age-group international tournaments, were introduced to Chetan by their coach G. Sudhakar Reddy amid applause from the rookies.
Mr. Das said badminton was an attractive game and was liked both by the young and the old.
“This game is affordable and it will help sharpen both the mind and the body.”
MLA Y. Ravi asked the youngsters to make use of the facilities and play regularly to stay fit.
Krishna District Badminton Association president K. Pattabhi Ram said Chetan would be available for two weeks and asked the youngsters to make use of the camp in a productive manner.
The association is also inviting players from Vijayawada who made it big in the national and international levels to visit the camp and interact with the shuttlers.