Updated: Nov 21, 2019
This article was written by our guest contributor, Wayne Mcleod, a supporter of the Shepparton Badminton Association.
The year 2018 saw the creation of the Shepparton & Districts Primary Schools Badminton Doubles Championships, delivered by a very progressive and forward-thinking Shepparton Badminton Association in combination with the local school community and a very generous sponsor Cason Sports. When other potential sponsors baulked at sponsoring a nascent tournament, the Director of Cason Sports, Rhonda Cator, recognised the potential of this grassroots tournament and its importance to rural communities to have a local, regional tournament for primary school children which could in the future become permanent.
Badminton offers students a vehicle to develop leadership skills, engage fully with an activity, develop concentration, adaptability, comprehension and understanding, teamwork, dependability and sportsmanship.
Badminton, then, is an ideal sport for the development of self-confidence, self-esteem, and resilience which they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
The success of 2018 has flowed through to the 2019 tournament. We welcomed 4 new schools to the competition: Sirius College, Rutherglen Primary School, The Little School House and Cobram Anglican Grammar School.
Overall, the tournament achieved a number of firsts – St Josephs, Charlton entered the first team made up of all grade 4 students which also became the first all Grade 4 team to win a Division championship (Div 2 ). And last, but not least. Came the entry of the Little School House from the home education sector, who submitted the first grade 2 entry into the comp.
The other significant “first” was the creation of an umpiring course designed to be completed by secondary students who could then umpire the primary school tournament.
The material for this course was put together by Kathryn Blencowe and Olivia Na from Badminton Victoria. Kathryn, an Oceania qualified umpire, travelled from Melbourne to deliver the course and mentor the students at the tournament... in an absolutely outstanding manner.
Kathryn’s secondary umpire group came from the Shepparton Christian College, whose VCE and VET Coordinator, Mr Phil Tan, should be acknowledged and applauded for recognising the value and importance of offering his students a leadership and community service program that allows for personal growth and development and the opportunity to give back at an early stage in their lives by providing a pivotal service for the Sheep Bad Association. This they did to an exceptionally high standard and their contribution to the professional delivery of the tournament cannot be understated. Well done Umpires, well done Kathryn Blencowe and Mr Phil Tan.
Once again the competition was divided up into 3 divisions with each participant receiving a certificate and medals were awarded to each player of each team who finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in each division.
As well, students were competing for an Encouragement Award (one boy, one girl from each division), which did not necessarily go to the best player, but took into account sportsmanship, skill improvement on the day, how players performed as a combination and the adaptability of their tactics to opposition strategies.
The prizes were donated by Cason Sports, as were the medallions. For DIV 1 the prize was a CARLTON Fireblade 300 carbon racquet, and for DIV’s 2 & 3 they were CARLTON Aeroblade 5000 racquets.
Encouragement Award winners were:
Jotham Mallon (Shepparton Christian College)
Poppy Fitzpatrick (St Josephs, Charlton)
Ethan Soulsby (St Josephs, Charlton)
Sheena Fitzpatrick (St Josephs, Charlton)
Rhylin Jones (Guthrie Primary School (3))
Isabella Brookes (Rutherglen Primary School (4))
Judging the Encouragement Award was much harder than last year as so many players seemed to be at the same level, so we hope the judging gets even harder next year.
Champions - St Josephs, Charlton (1) (second-year running)
Runners-Up - Shepparton Christian College, (second-year running)
3RD Place - Cobram Anglican Grammar School
Champions - St Josephs, Charlton (2)
Runners-Up - Rutherglen Primary School (2)
3RD Place - Sirius College
Champions - Rutherglen Primary School (5)
Runners-Up - Rutherglen Primary School (4)
3RD Place - Rutherglen Primary School (2)
Overall, the tournament was closely fought in all divisions, and some very tense battles were had.
Congratulations to all school staff who supported their students in the lead-up and on the day and the primary students who participated, who had fun, tried their best and showed respect for their opposition whether winning or losing.
Congratulations to Kathryn Blencowe on the great job she did in mentoring the Umpire group from the Shepparton Christian College. And huge congratulations for the students themselves who applied themselves professionally for the entire day. Their efforts enabled the tournament to run like clockwork. Thank you all for an awesome job.
We would also like to thank the small band of parents and students from Wanganui Secondary College who also were vital to keeping the tournament running smoothly.
Shepparton Badminton Association looks forward to delivering a bigger and better tournament next year, and encourages everyone to seriously consider getting their schools involved in this awesome day… You’ll all be made more than welcome.