It is her love for badminton that brought Amritha her pride and joy at PGP House (PH). What started out as a simple hobby when she was a little girl became an opportunity to grow a supportive community of 210 members (and counting) some fifteen years later.
A second-year resident at PH, Amritha is the House’s badminton Interest Group (IG) leader. The effervescent sports enthusiast who started playing competitively when she was in high school now helps like-minded residents and peers get involved in the game. Broadcasting weekly postings on Telegram, preparing budget proposals, chaperoning shuttlers both novice and advanced, as well as packing up after every session, these duties which may seem tiresome to some only spurred her on to create an inclusive environment for anyone keen to play.
For Amritha, inclusiveness and sportsmanship are amongst the core values she advocates. All members from complete beginners to professionally trained players are welcomed, as long as they are passionate about the sport. While it is inevitable for beginner players to feel intimidated and awkward around their skilled counterparts initially, mindfulness and initiative of members soon bridged the distance between them.
“My close friend recently moved to PH. She enjoys playing badminton but was afraid to whenever I tried to invite her because she assumed that she wasn’t good enough. Regardless, I persuaded her to join the IG and she felt right at home because everyone’s objective was simply to have fun and bond,” Amritha shares.
She added candidly, “I thought some members will drop out when they didn’t feel confident at first, but they’ve stuck with us till now and have become better at playing because of the IG. There are also members who thanked me personally for making sure they got the chance to play and are not left out. It’s extremely satisfying to know I’ve played a part in motivating them to come for every session.”
Amritha revealed that some residents, including PGP Residences’, only knew the badminton court existed when they saw the IG playing. They have since started booking the court to play with their friends and some of them also became IG members. This addresses Amritha’s agenda exactly, to promote the general idea of getting residents to come out of their rooms and meet more people, stay healthy and keep fit through sports.
She was also an integral part of PH’s milestone. Representing PH as Sports Director at its first Inter-Hall Games (IHG) in Year 18/19, Amritha had to familiarise herself with the proceedings and rise up to the challenge quickly. She recalls, “At first, it was daunting for us as we were going against six other experienced halls. We were literally late to the game and time wasn’t on our side, but things became easier after I reminded myself that this was more of an opportunity for PH to learn and grow instead of putting up a competitive front.”
Her main goal for her team? To have fun. “I constantly reminded them that since this was our first time, success by winning all the games was not our final stop. It was more about how we get there together. Knowing we have each other’s backs, this was definitely the best moment of IHG for me as it showed me what sportsmanship truly is,” she says.