Bad­minton con­test goes up a notch

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

A new elite bad­minton com­pe­ti­tion is set to hit uni­ver­si­ties on Sun­day.

Auck­land Bad­minton’s in­au­gu­ral Univer­sity Su­per League Com­pe­ti­tion will see four teams made up of some of New Zealand’s lead­ing play­ers and coaches rep­re­sent­ing the Auck­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, Univer­sity of Auck­land, Univer­sity of Waikato and Massey Univer­sity.

Auck­land Bad­minton de­vel­op­ment man­ager Cliff Free­man says play­ers have not been able to com­pete at this level in New Zealand un­til now.

‘‘We wanted to cre­ate some­thing that would re­ally in­stil some pride in the sport, some­thing that would help pro­file and grow the sport.’’

The num­ber of pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate school-age play­ers pick­ing up bad­minton has grown over the last five years.

Auck­land Bad­minton is now look­ing at redefin­ing the sport, es­pe­cially gear­ing it to­wards the 17-23 year age group which is typ­i­cally more tough for sports to at­tract, Free­man says.

Up-and-com­ing cen­tral Auck­land play­ers An­nika An­dresen and Car­men Yuen will rep­re­sent the univer­sity in the tour­na­ment.

More than 150 stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Auck­land play the racket sport.

Yuen says she feels like it has a strong team go­ing into the con­test.

‘‘The Waikato will prob­a­bly have a pretty tough team so it will be a good re­gion on re­gion bat­tle. It will def­i­nitely be in­ter­est­ing.’’

Tour­na­ment win­ners will be awarded the Rob­son Univer­sity Shield, named af­ter bad­minton leg­ends Jeff and Heather Rob­son.

Univer­sity of Auck­land sport and recre­ation of­fi­cer Al­bie Gys­berts says the univer­sity hopes the com­pe­ti­tion will grow to in­clude teams from uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try.

The com­pe­ti­tion is free to watch and will be held on Sun­day from 9.30am at the Univer­sity of Auck­land Recre­ation Cen­tre, 17 Sy­monds St.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Elite com­pe­ti­tion: Bad­minton play­ers An­nika An­dresen and Car­men Yuen will rep­re­sent the Univer­sity of Auck­land at the in­au­gu­ral Univer­sity Su­per League Com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day.

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