Bad­minton’s fast cousin shut­tles into Welling­ton

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By MARY BAINES

A new racket sport, com­bin­ing el­e­ments of ten­nis, squash and bad­minton be­came a hit in Welling­ton schools last year.

Speed bad­minton, or speed­minton, is played us­ing a spe­cially de­signed rac­quet and mod­i­fied shut­tle­cock, known as a speeder, which can reach speeds of 290kmh.

The sport’s pro­moter, Simon Rutherford, said the ba­sic rules are the same as bad­minton but speed­minton does not re­quire a court or net.

In­stead, play­ers stand in squares, 12m apart. The aim of the game is to hit the speeder into the op­po­nent’s scor­ing zone and rally. Many of the shots and strokes are like those of ten­nis and squash.

It could also be played at night with the speeder hav­ing a glow stick in­side, Rutherford said.

‘‘There’s no need for ded­i­cated fa­cil­i­ties . . . stu­dents can play in the school hall or gym, or out­side on grass or con­crete,’’ he said.

Speed­minton was suited to all ages – any­one from 7 to 70 could pick up a racket and within 15 min­utes be play­ing the game, he said.

Since its launch in New Zealand last Fe­bru­ary, three schools a week had added it to their sports cur­ricu­lum, Rutherford said.

Welling­ton Col­lege phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion head Lin­coln Rawles said the school used it as part of its year 10 cur­ricu­lum to work on skills that could later be trans­ferred to bad­minton or ten­nis.

Equip­ment can be bought on­line at www.speed­ and at some sports stores.

Ready to play: Welling­ton Col­lege stu­dents Se­bas­tian On, 14, left, and Michael Ber­gin, 13, pre­pare for a game of speed­minton.

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