A star from courts – Subodha Dahanayake

By: Achalie Kumarage

Badminton is a leisure time sport for so many, regardless of their age. For Subodha Dahanayake badminton is not just a sport but the excitement which keeps her warmed up throughout.

Subodha Kumari Yapa Dahanayake, the 20 year old upcoming badminton star, is participating in badminton training sessions these days in order to represent the country in the forthcoming Common Wealth Games.

Badminton court was not a strange for Subodha since she was 10 years old. In fact, her parents have been badminton player who have always encouraged her to wade further in the exciting game of badminton. Starting with the Junior National Badminton Championship 2000 Subodha has participated in several national level international badminton tournaments.

“My father inspired me to start badminton,” said Subodha. “I started when I was 10 years old and I fist tried my hands in the game at the Junior National Badminton Championship 2001. I beat one of the best players in under11 age group,” she said recalling how she began. She was a semi finalist in under11 age group in the above tournament.

“The game was a little difficult at the beginning,” said Subodha and said she received an immense support from her school, Musaeus College, her parents, teachers and her coaches.
“Since 2001 I have won about 250 certificates, 100 medals and 30 or 40 cups and tokens in different tournaments held both within the country and abroad,” Subodha said. Asian Junior Badminton Championships 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, 10th south Asian games Colombo 2006 and World Junior Badminton Championship 2008 are a few among several international representations of Subodha.
The most prestigious awards she has won in badminton so far are under 15 and under 17 Junior National Badminton Championships, silver medal in the 10th South Asian Games 2006, Bronze medal in women’s singles in the Inter Religious Peace Games 2005-Korea and the Silver medal in Women’s Doubles in the 57th National Badminton Championship 2009.
Speaking to all who wish to try their hands in badminton, Subodha said, “First learn the basic badminton strokes correctly. Find someone knowledgeable in the game of badminton to help you to achieve your goal. Also, play hard but play fair and always be a champ whether you win or lose.”
“I had to balance both studies and sports, and work hard. I had to sacrifice a lot to gain all these achievements,” she added.
Subodha will be leaving the country in order to participate in the Common Wealth Games 2010-Delhi India, and will also be participating in the Asian Games 2010 which will be held in China this November. “I hope to play hard in both tournaments and bring glory to my motherland,” Subodha said.

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