Pullela Gopichand launches coffee table book ‘The Poona Game’ as part of PDMBA’s 75th anniversary celebration

The Poona District and Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA) launched a commemorative illustrated book entitled “The Poona Game” with the virtual presence of badminton legend Pullela Gopichand. The event took place in Pune on Tuesday.

The book aims to honor the 150 years of the game being born in the city and to mark its own 75th anniversary.

The book was put online by Badminton Association of India (BAI) Vice President Pullela Gopichand and BAI Secretary General Sanjay Mishra after both guests excused their presence due to health reasons.

In her absence, Progressive Education Society Chair and Executive Director Gajanan Ekbote chaired the launch event.

The book summarizes the legacy of the sport of badminton, comprehensively describing the journey, key achievements and key achievements achieved overall.

Details of the game developed in Pune, the rules established in Pune in 1871-72 and the PDMBA established in 1946 are documents that would enrich the knowledge of the connoisseur of the sport.

The PDMBA has consistently demonstrated its excellence in over 75 years and continues to strive for excellence to serve the sport that is particularly recorded.

From developing international players in Pune, to dynamic organizers in the late Avinash Wardekar and Dajisaheb Natu, to hosting the country’s first cash prize tournament, the book has it all.

India’s first prize money badminton tournament – Indian Masters – was held in 1981 and was won by Prakash Padukone.

Similarly, PDMBA’s transition over time saw it become established in the Modern Sports Complex. The arena houses nine badminton courts and has consistently produced quality referees.

The PDMBA honored several players, officials and staff during the event.  (Image credit: PDMBA)
The PDMBA honored several players, officials and staff during the event. (Image credit: PDMBA)

“The Poona Game” also highlights the achievements of PDMBA’s Girish Natu, who is a popular figure in badminton circles around the world.

During the event, PDMBA honored the organizers and administrators in recognition of the great merits of individuals whose contributions have led to success.

The late Avinash Wardekar, Dajisaheb Natu, Annasaheb Natu and Suresh Phalnikar were honored. International shuttlers Manjusha Pavangadkar, Nikhil Kanetkar and Manjusha Sahastrabuddhe were also congratulated.

Senior trainers KR Shetty, Anil Modak, technical official Girish Natu and a loyal contributor at Dilip Kamble are fitting mentions in a chapter tracing 75 years of glory.

The event was moderated by Atul Biniwale and chaired by PDMBA President Aniruddha Deshpande. The Honorary Secretary of the PDMBA, Ranjeet Natu, delivered a welcome speech in which he covered the history of the PDMBA since its inception.

This is indeed a glorious occasion for the PDMBA: Pullela Gopichand

Padma Bhushan award winner Pullela Gopichand praised PDMBA’s contribution to Indian badminton history. He said it was a brilliant coincidence that India recently won the Thomas Cup for the first time, beating 14-time champions Indonesia 3-0 in the final.

About the virtual platform, Pullela Gopichand said:

“This is indeed a glorious occasion! A day that connects the historical legacy of the birth of “Poona Badminton” 150 years ago. The tireless coalition of the Poona District Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA) is halfway through the years since badminton was born in this town. It all happened during the celebrations of India’s first-ever gold medal at the Thomas Cup.”

“As a member of the badminton fraternity in general and having earned my name, I am honored to be a part of this moment and unfold the chronicle of history. PDMBA has done a wonderful job of shaping badminton through the illustrated book, which includes their dedicated effort to produce players of international renown. The best officials on and off the court, who together are world famous and respected by the Brotherhood around the world.”

I have bittersweet memories of Pune: Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand h has several memories of Pune. As a player in the city, he suffered serious injuries but also won the national championship title within a few years.

“Pune holds a special place for me. I have bittersweet memories of the city. This is where my career almost ended in 1995 with a terrible injury during the National Games. But then I came back here two years later in 1997 to win my first Senior National title. I can’t forget the close family ties to the Natu family either. I had a close friendship with Ranjeet Natu, who once teamed up as my doubles partner and won a national ranking event.”

Pullela Gopichand concluded by saying:

“The launch of the CTB will be another memory to take home from the city, a memory that will stay for years to come. The CTB itself is the pinnacle of finesse in capturing and summarizing the journey of the sport. Certainly the first of its kind from an association in India.”

The PDMBA plans to host the next Senior National Badminton Championships in Pune as part of the ongoing celebrations.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat

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