The Hintonburg Community Centre is full of people, crowded around on the edges, watching birdies fly back and forth across the court. On Saturday, July 13, the Luero Open Badminton Tournament is in full swing. There are prizes, of course: a raffle to be won and bragging rights to all the winners, but the Luero Open is about more than just winning.
Run by the Hintonburg Badminton Club, the Luero Open is an annual memorial game. The courts are opened to honour Eric Luong. Eric Luong was one of the original members of the Hintonburg Badminton Club. The club began thirteen years ago, as a small circle of friends. However, over the years, the club has grown into a sizable and diverse community that meets biweekly to practice and play. When Eric Luong passed away in April of 2010, the club knew they wanted to honour their friend and fellow athlete.
All the proceeds from the tournament go to charity. Since it began in 2010, the Luero Open’s players and local sponsors have donated to multiple charities. The club annually raises more than five hundred dollars. In 2011, they raised one thousand dollars for CHEO. This year, the proceeds will be donated to the Ottawa Mission and organizers Jozzepi Foo and Roy Hoople are optimistic for an even greater impact for the community. In its fourth year now, the tournament has grown by thirty three percent, with over one hundred players.
At the end of the day – when the scores are counted, wrists are exhausted, and players have worked themselves well out of breath – the club is just happy they can do good in honour of their friend’s memory, and even happier that the community is there to support them as well.