AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Badminton is ready to blossom in Papua New Guinea according to Badminton Oceania Development Manager, Nadia Bleaken.
Badminton Oceania hosted its Pacific Player Development Camp in Auckland, New Zealand, with players from Guam, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Tonga in attendance this week.
Today, former Kiwi Olympian Sarah Cowley and ONOC’s Ryley Webster delivered its Voices of the Athletes programme today in conjunction with Badminton Oceania.
Bleaken said the future for Badminton in Papua New Guinea is bright with the country full of potential.
“I visited Papua New Guinea in 2011 just after the Pacific Games in New Caledonia and we know there’s a lot of people playing Badminton there.
“We are working on establishing a national federation so it exists and we need to go through the process of membership with the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and once thats complete then we have them in our plans for 2016. The BWF Shuttle Time school Badminton would be the main programme.
“During my visit to schools in Papua New Guinea we know people are very keen and we want to establish that programme for starters in Port Moresby but then also around the country to give teachers the skills and confidence to deliver the programmes to children and youth.
“Papua New Guinea is a sleeping giant and it was exciting to see how successful the Pacific Games were last year and it will be great to have Badminton Papua New Guinea on board,” Bleaken said.
Guam, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Tonga are contesting Stage 1 of the Oceania Mixed Team Championships and then the Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championships later in the week.
Bleaken says although they are not involved this time, there is hope at the BWF for Papua New Guinea to formalise its inclusion at future events.
“At Badminton Oceania and Badminton World Federation there is enthusiasm for Papua New Guinea to be involved. The plans are in place and we now wait for Badminton Papua New Guinea to come on board.
“In terms of development, Tonga and Guam are good examples of what can be achieved in a short space of time with both coming on board in 2010 and 2011 and they have already got teams competing at the Oceania Championships.
“They each have school programmes in place with Shuttle Time and it is exciting to see them advance through that player pathway and taking part in the Oceania Championships,” Bleaken said.
Stage 1 action begins at 10am tomorrow when New Caledonia take on Guam and Tonga face Tahiti at the X-TRM North Harbour Centre in Bond Crescent, Forrest Hill.
The Men’s and Women’s Team events begin on Friday and Saturday and feature Men’s teams from Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Tahiti, and Women’s teams from Australia, Guam, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Tahiti.
Oceania Mixed Team Championship – Stage 1
Tuesday 16 February
10.00am New Caledonia v Guam
10.00am Tonga v Tahiti
4.00pm New Caledonia v Tahiti
4.00pm NZST Tonga v Guam
Oceania Mixed Team Championship – Stage 2
Wednesday 17 February
4.00pm NZST Australia v Stage 1 #2
4.00pm NZST New Zealand v Stage 1 #1
Thursday 18 February
10.00am NZST Australia v Stage 1 #1
10.00am NZST New Zealand v Stage 1 #2
4.00pm NZST Australia v New Zealand
4.00pm NZST Stage 1 #1 v Stage 1 #2
(Men): Matthew Chau, Michael Fariman, Anthony Joe, Robin Middleton, Sawan Serasinghe.
(Women): Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen, Leanne Choo, Joy Lai, Gronya Somerville.
(Men): David Yao, Sunardi Li and John Conducto.
(Women): Michelle Kremper, Grace Cai, Sarah Cai, Emily Yang.
(Men): Kevin James Dennerly-Minturn, Oliver Leydon-Davis, Asher Richardson, Dylan Soedjasa, Niccolo Tagle.
(Women): Michelle Chan Ky, Vicki Copeland, Susannah Leydon-Davis, Anna Rankin, Danielle Tahuri, Deborah Yin.
(Men): Yohan De Geoffroy, Ronan Ho-Yagues, Thomas Lahaut, Loic Mennesson and Fabian Nadmimin.
(Women): Soizick Ho-Yagues, Johanna Kou, Dgenyva Matauli and Cecilia Moussy.
(Men): Leo Cucuel, Michael Ajonc, Quentin Bernaix, Hugo Sautereau, Kyliam Scilloux.
(Women): Aurelie Bouttin, Coralie Bouttin, Chloe Segrestan, Pauline Segrestan.
(Men): Lauti Naaniumotu, Metuisela Vainikolo.
(Women): Lusia Ki Taulanga, Litea Lupe Moe Valu Tatafu.
Oceania Mixed Team Championships
16-18 February, 2016
Auckland, New Zealand
Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championships
19-21 February, 2016
Auckland, New Zealand
Source: Badminton Oceania Press