It was just another ordinary working day when Derred came over to my desk and said: "Since the Thomas Cup and Olympics are coming up, why don't we follow the trend and organize a badminton competition?" That's how the Quintiq Badminton Tournament came into being. Without any hesitation, we got started. We formed a committee which included the two of us, Hsien Kung and Muru. After a round-table discussion of the details of competition, the email invitation was sent to all our colleagues in Malaysia. To our surprise, we received a really good response: 48 colleagues signed up for the month-long event, including someone from almost every department in Quintiq’s global development centre. We had directors, team managers, accountants, technical specialists, and more.

The main objective of the competition was to get to know our colleagues, but we still wanted everything to be fair. So, participants were divided into four groups, consisting of male and female players from different departments, ranging from colleagues who had just started to play badminton (without their own racquet or shoes) to regular badminton players with all the gear. This was to make sure that every team had an equal chance to win.

It didn't take long to finalize the team formations. The committee then informed the players that the 2 teams to make it to the final would receive attractive prizes. So, of course, 48 people were then aiming for the FINAL! Even those teammates who didn’t know each well were getting in to the team spirit. We soon started hearing people talking about strategy and formation.

To our surprise again, our colleagues were actually treating the competition quite seriously. There were teams who trained before or during the competition, even those who paid for extra training session. For instance, Kelven, Jeffrey and Hsien Kung woke up early in the morning on Sundays for some warm-up training, It was funny to see them training alongside small kids, who were the only ones training and playing in the badminton court at that time. Those were the days, haha... :)

Anyway, the extra exercise was good for our health. Even Foong Yie trained right after she got back from our office in the Netherlands. There were other players who booked a court and trained after work. That's the spirit that we were hoping to see! Never has Quintiq badminton been so exciting! We could see some training going on even during our regular badminton sessions, which was beneficial to less experienced players, and helped with the growing chemistry between partners.

Without further delay, the games finally started. There were many, many exciting matches, and memorable moments. We were really glad that there were some volunteer referees who helped out during the games. Supporters were all around the courts, cheering on their team of choice. And players were supporting each other, regardless of what team they were on. The applause was given generously, for encouragement as well as for nice shots.

From left to right: Abe serving while Poh Yiau is 100% focused; The finals: Kelven & Jeffrey vs Jan Yang & Stanley, with Kelven smashing!; Female fighters: Mei Ying, Elizebeth, Pei Rou & Shing Siew

To win the tournament required preparation, fighting spirit, teamwork and, of course, a bit of luck. Due to the arrangement of the seeding system, we enjoyed some really exciting matches… I can still remember the match between Jiin Kang & Nicholas vs Supi & Dicky, where the scores grew in a pattern as such: 1-1, 3-3, 6-6, 21-23.. for three sets! There were also some breathtaking crucial matches, determining whether the whole team would be entering final, or even becoming the champion.

We spotted some really interesting behavior along the way… At half-time, the “coaches” were “coaching” their players, as if this was an Olympic competition. And the team members were motivating each other, shouting and chanting. It wasn’t only the game play, but also the strategy that determined whether a team reached the final.

After going through all the special moments together, winning or losing was no longer important. But, it was still a competition, so we observed a sharp contrast in the faces of those who entered the final round or lost.

The tournament took more than 2 months to complete due to injury, sickness and business trips. The champion team actually consisted of players from the software knowledge center, the helpdesk, the java team, metals, logistics and workforce. What a diverse team! It was a daunting feat to organize such an exciting competition as this. We encountered a lot of challenges. And most importantly we all bonded. Our competition even attracted other players from other courts. Players from two other groups, one made up of players from another company, even invited us to play a friendly match with them, and we won one!

Here is the winning team receiving their prize: awesome new rackets!
From left to right: Stanley, Derred, Abe, Kelven, Joon Nan, Supianto, Shing Siew, Bonnie, Pei Rou

We are looking forward to the second badminton tournament next year, and definitely hoping for more people to join in, even from other BUs. Last but not least, we’ve got some great memories and we all know each other much better. Thanks to everyone who made this a successful event!