#SheSpeaks with Deanne Rodrigues

Womentorship proudly publishes the story of the Bandra Tigress, Deanne Rodrigues. Professionally, she is a Branding & Marketing Communications expert, presently working with Thyssenkrupp, a German MNC. She amazes the world with 47 National and International titles in Badminton across categories. Here goes her story in her own words.

Badminton has always been an extension of me!

I grew up playing badminton in our front yard at Blue Heaven, Bandra, Mumbai. All of my childhood and school days, neighbourhood tournaments and family matches were always just an evening of togetherness and fun. In the early 90s, I represented MMK college and won several inter-college tournaments for the team, badminton still remained just mere fun and excitement. Never really got myself trained or joined any academy. Continued playing at the Bandra Gymkhana which is almost like my second home.

Come Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday and I would be there with there with my kit bag.

It was routine.

It was a drill.

It was a discipline…..which I enjoyed.

Played a few interclub tournaments, for fun and recreation. But nothing serious ever.

Early 2000 onwards, soon after marriage and a difficult one……Badminton started to mean much more to me. Badminton, which is my passion took me through really tough times of my life. My toughest ever. The 2-3 hours, each day on the court would help me focus, unwind and forget every other trouble life posed at me. It gave me the energy to face each day and see life differently.

Today badminton…

Is an extension of me.

Is my regular dose of Vitamin and life.

Is and continues to be my constant till date.

Is my passion.

Being a doubles partner, I’ve always played with different partners while at the club, during practice and at different other clubs. This has thought me to learn and understand different people’s approaches, behaviours and temperaments to the game and life.

It definitely helped broaden my horizon and mind.

Early 2013, a friend from the club prompted me to participate in the Master Nationals Championship in Mumbai. Since I am from the same city where the selection was happening, it seemed convenient. So, I got myself registered. It was an amazing feeling to see the level of commitment players at this age have towards the sport. And was even more heartening is the way we performed at my first National Championship. We managed to win the Women’s Doubles and Runners-up in the Mixed Doubles in 2013. This qualified us to represent India at the Masters World Badminton (WBC) Championship 2013 in Turkey. Where we continued to do really well and lost to the No 1 seed England, in the quarterfinals. They were the eventual winners.

Over the last 4 National Selections, I’ve won 5 National Titles + 2 Runners-up Titles across four years.

2013, Masters Nationals Mumbai won 35+ WD and Runners 35+ XD

2014 – Didn’t participate

2015, Masters Nationals Dharamshala won both 35+ WD and XD

2016, Masters Nationals Coimbatore won 35+ XD and Runners in 40+ WD

  1. Masters Nationals Cochin won 40+ WD n third place 35+ XD
  • WBC 2013 Turkey, reached the quarters of the 35+WD and lost to England the eventual winners and No1 seed.
  • WBC 2015, Sweden qualified in both XD and WD but decided not to go (for personal reasons)
  • WBC 2017 Turkey, reached the quarters in both the 35+XD and 40+WD

And as they say, the rest is HISTORY!!!

Post this start, at competitive badminton, there was no turning back….

Today as listed above I hold 47 titles and counting……. I really thank God for all these mercies as none of this has come easy. My family support during some of my roughest patches, my mother and friends who got me to fight back through some defeats and restore my confidence on the court. Losing is never easy, but how one learns and comes out of it is really critical to our success. I’ve been blessed with a few good mentor and well-wishers and my mother. These people have never given up on my journey.

Commitment and pain is also an integral part of this journey. I play this sport with severe injuries and in intense pain at times….

2001, I had an ACL tear and ligament reconstructed on my left leg

2012, I had a cartilage torn and scraped off on my right leg

2016, I ruptured my plantar fascia on my left foot

I still push myself to the court in spite of the injuries and pain, as the drive and energy I get on court helps me through each day. And winning takes you to a different high. All the pain and discomfort just settle into the background and then its smiles all the way.

With no formal coaching and training, this sport was mere recreation and fun for me. Badminton, was always recreation and a good workout.

Playing competitive badminton was never even a thought.

Today I have several friends who ask me to train their children and consider for formal coaching. This is indeed overwhelming and I praise God for all his kind mercies and blessings.

 

Today, she proudly shares that she is one of the Top 8 Mixed Doubles and Women’s Doubles Masters’ Double player in the world.

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