Left handed players

India 1912In the Badminton Gazette of February 1911 we read –

From India comes news of a distinct novelty in club events – a left-handed tournament having been held at the Calcutta B.C. It was confined to members, and was won by Mr. H. Mitra, who beat the runner-up, Mr S. Mitra, by two games to one. Our report mentions that, in spite of the unusual conditions, there was a capital display; and that some of the competitors played better with the left hand than they usually and habitually do with the right. We do not know whether the experiment had been tried before at Calcutta; but to players over here the idea will certainly be entirely new. Naturally left handed players had, we presume, to play right-handed.

Our picture is of badminton being played in India in 1912.

Another item of interest regarding left handers appears in Kitty Godfree’s autobiography by Geoffrey Green:  Kitty records:

The only advice – not coaching – I got from uncles and cousins when I first picked up a racket at the age, I suppose of ten. ‘Use your right hand’ they used to urge. ‘Tennis is played with the right hand.’
So right hand it became. Yet basically I am left handed. I used to play cricket left handed, as batsman, bowler, fielder and thrower; I was left handed at lacrosse; I serve cards and write left handed. I now wonder if I would have better on my natural, port side. Because of my tennis I played badminton with the right hand. This cannot now be answered, but sometimes I wonder.’

She was the winner of 7 All England badminton titles, two Wimbledon tennis singles titles, 1 Olympic gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals for tennis.