Co­ley’s Point man start­ing bad­minton club

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER TC ME­DIA COM­MU­NITY nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca Ni­cholas Mercer/TC Me­dia

Bad­minton isn’t any­thing new to the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion.

It’s been played in schools for decades and plenty of promis­ing ath­letes have found suc­cess in the sport through the years.

How­ever, rarely does an ath­lete con­tinue with the game af­ter high school. There tends to be a drop off for what­ever rea­son.

Now, a Co­ley’s Point man is hop­ing to change that. Pierre LeGres­ley is in the midst of start­ing a recre­ational bad­minton club with hopes of spark­ing peo­ple to take up the game again.

“If you want to learn, there’ll be peo­ple there who will teach you how to play, and if you want to play for fun, you can play for fun,” he told The Com­pass last week.

Bad­minton is a sport that you don’t nec­es­sar­ily have to stop play­ing as you age. In a press re­lease, LeGres­ley men- tioned the bur­geon­ing club is open to any­one aged 10 to 99 years. Just re­cently, the sports na­tional gov­ern­ing body al­tered the age brack­ets be­cause there were so many peo­ple over the age of 80 play­ing.

“There were too many 80-year-olds play­ing against 70-year-olds,” said LeGres­ley, a bad­minton coach for more than 30 years. “It’s not an ex­pen­sive sport and it’s a sport you can have for life.”

A coach with both Amal­ga­mated Academy and As­cen­sion Col­le­giate, LeGres­ley teaches up­wards to 20 young ath­letes be­tween the two schools. When he started in­ter­act­ing with the stu­dents, he found out a num­ber of their par­ents used to play bad­minton.

“I asked the kids with all the schools if they had their own racket,” said LeGres­ley. “They said, ‘No, I’m us­ing mom’s racket or us­ing dad’s racket.’ Well, let’s get mom and dad to come and play.”

High-level bad­minton is a mag­nif­i­cent mix­ture of ath­leti­cism and co­or­di­na­tion. Ath­letes move around the court at light­ning speed and move their rack­ets even faster.

LeGres­ley thinks the rea­son the sport isn’t big­ger in this prov­ince is be­cause it doesn’t get the tele­vi­sion cov­er­age some of the other sports get.

It doesn’t mat­ter if you aren’t skilled in the game at all, he is en­cour­ag­ing any­one in­ter­ested to come and give it a try.

“You don’t have to be good. You can come here to en­joy the game,” he said. “Ev­ery­one is wel­come. It’s just to build some­thing as an op­tion.”

LeGres­ley hopes to have a meet­ing later this month.

You don’t have to be good. You can come here to en­joy the game. Pierre LeGres­ley

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

Co­ley’s Point’s Pierre LeGres­ley is hop­ing to start a bad­minton club in the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion in the near fu­ture.

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