Badminton tournament raises $415 for cancer research


Sarayu Suresh

Naperville Central juniors Noah Rooney and Rohin Gopalka square up for a game in the badminton tournament held at Central on Feb. 26 in the Field House.

Sarayu Suresh, Staff Writer

A charity badminton doubles tournament to raise money for the Connor Hunt Memorial Foundation was hosted by Naperville Central seniors and badminton varsity players Michelle Hu and Arja Mishra on Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. in the field house. 

The event was a double elimination tournament, with each pair allowed two losses before they were eliminated. Over 100 students participated in the tournament, with 52 total teams. The bracket was posted on

Money raised from the event will fund pediatric cancer research and the Connor Hunt Service Scholarship. The scholarship is presented in memory of Connor Hunt, a former Naperville Central student who passed away from cancer at age 17 in 2018.

At the end of the event, there were prizes for contestants placing in the top three, including gift cards and candy. Wheaton North student Devon Jones and Neuqua student Zicheng Zhao won the tournament 7-0. Connie Lu and Rosana Liang placed second, and Hajun Lee and Tyler Yu placed third. 

Before the event, Hu said she was worried about turnout.  

“At the beginning we thought like nobody’s gonna sign up,  and then like the last few days we had a bunch of people sign up. So that was really cool,” Hu said. 

Hu said she was excited that more people participated than she expected.  

“Badminton is a pretty underappreciated sport,” she said. “You don’t get the opportunity to play often, so it was nice to see more people enjoy the sport.”

Since more people signed up than expected, the number of games played for each matchup changed from two to one halfway through the tournament to finish in time. 

“We were able to finish all of the games in time, so that was good,” Hu said. 

As the tournament went on and players got eliminated, some competitors went home, but many stayed to cheer on other competitors. 

“There was some real consistent sportsmanship,” junior Michael Yang said. 

Junior Jessica Pei, a player for the Central girls varsity team, placed fifth at the tournament. 

“It was a fun way to get in practice during the off season,” Pei said. 

Other participants just played for fun.

“I don’t play for the team, I just do it in my free time,” sophomore Sahasra Kosuri said. “It was still really fun to play with my friend.”

Some are also looking forward to next year. 

“We’ll be back stronger next year,” said Yang, who placed last place. “We had some tough moments but we gained a lot of experience from this.”