Happy to Share the Memories
It’s was amazing experience to talk to Neera Bukarani and listen to her story of Playing Badminton. I meet the whole family because she invited me to her lovely home and found out that they all played badminton. it was a privilege to meet them and share their lives through playing badminton . Thank you for sharing your memories of play, the lovely Somosas and hospitality.
Neera starting playing at an early age. Her parents both were avid players and they played to good standard. Neera’s father, a Mathematics Teacher and a keen badminton player, wanted to see his children be successes in life and also learn play the game. Her father later became coach and coached Neera to become a County player. She told me the she would have a strict training regime and train early in the morning and throughout the week.
Neeras parents recorded and documented Neera’s success. She Showed big collection of medals and photographs of her playing in tournament and matches. She showed me all her pictures and talked me though the good and difficult times she had in her life relaying that Badminton kept her focused and enabled her to reconnect with life, family and friends.
Neera Played in Many tournaments as a teenager and won many she played. The Community that she came from would organise and host tournaments. She played in the Baisakhi tournament in 1987 and is presented with trophies for winning.
See Gallery Below for more Pictures.
A Family Game
I was also astonished to find out that Asian Women were playing badminton in 1979. Neera mother seen playing in the photograph below was invited by her employers who were doctors to play. Neera told me that the families would get together and book the sports hall to play and an occasion where the whole family went to play ” We were given rackets and the end court to play and left to enjoy ourselves” In the picture you can see Neera Mother playing the block in a game of doubles. In the background you can see women wearing their traditional sarees and socialising. The old wooden rackets used in them days were heavy she said but she loved playing badminton.
Neera’s Father played also played badminton. I had a chance to speak to him. He told me that he played in the local community club and later started coach many other children in the area, some who have became students of his, as he taught maths as well as teaching them to play badminton. He told me that children would come to the sessions for coaching but would get a lot more because he would teach them about life, discipline and respect. It was his was contributing to the community and supporting the young people. He had many pictures and a well documented pictorial album. I told him that I was amazed at the way he kept his pictures all labeled, dated and so organised, He said ” Yes, I’m a teacher, what do you expect”!
Neera Loved playing so much that she used to play in the garden. She didn’t care what the weather was like, she would just love playing. Here She is playing with her younger brother. She represented Leicester County at the time.
Coaching Young people
Neera like her father dedicated a lot of time to helping other people to become good players. She has been in the papers for her work with developing young players and helping them achieve the best the can. She was commended for her work with young people and the papers wrote about the young people playing different sports.