May 16, 2016 / Badminton Ontario
The future looks bright following the 15.16 Black Knight Badminton Ontario Junior B Championship
This past weekend, the 15.16 Black Knight Badminton Ontario Junior B Championship drew athletes shoulder to shoulder from across the province. The event itself, which unfolded at Etobicoke’s Humber College, provided 289 players with their first crack at a provincial championship event. Other athletes participating left with pride, personal bests, and hope for the future.
Notable results include the weekend’s Triple Crown winner: Bill Li (U15, Mandarin)
Double Crown winners include: Carolyn Lee (U13, Lee’s), Michael Law (U13, Lee’s), Andy Ng (U17, KCBC), Sirun Li (U19, RW Badminton), and Alex Chan (U19, E Badminton)
Summary of results:
U13 BS: Colin Chow (Suria) defeated Karan Mukhi (KCBC), bronze: Luke Burri (Peterborough Jr BC)
U13 GS: Katy Wong (ChangCheng) defeated Carolyn Lee (Lee’s), bronze: Rebecca Xu (Machi)
U13 XD: Carolyn Lee & Michael Law (Lee’s) defeated Katy Wong (ChangCheng) and Timothy Lock (RW Badminton), bronze: Victoria Stanley (Granite) & Alex Xu (KCBC)
U13 BD: Michael Law (Lee’s) & Karan Mukhi (KCBC) defeated Raymond Li & Alex Xu (KCBC), bronze: Xiaoyu Lu & Jay Ren (K-W Badminton)
U13 GD: Carolyn Lee & Michelle Yang (Lee’s) defeated Maggie Su & Victoria Zhang (Su Badminton), bronze: Joy Shen & Brooke Yang (Advance)
U15 BS: Bill Li (Mandarin) defeated William Li (E Badminton), bronze: Nuwan Dias (Lee’s)
U15 GS: Audrey Lee (Lee’s) defeated Kimmie Hirano (E Badminton), bronze: Linda Zhao (Su Badminton)
U15 XD: Megan Ho & Bill Li (Mandarin) defeated Aeris Wong & Adrian Cheung (Suria), bronze: Shankari Sivachandran & Mitchell Bradbury (KCBC)
U15 BD: Oscar Chong & Bill Li (Mandarin) defeated Hasan Hirji & Aaron Sheppard (B&R), bronze: Tiger Li & William Li (E Badminton)
U15 GD: Eve Wang & Maggie Yang (Soong Badminton) defeated Megan Ho (Mandarin) & Kristal Lim (C2 Badminton), bronze: Elizabeth Kingsmill (Granite) & Carolyn Luk (Suria)
U17 BS: Ryan Chan (Suria) defeated Julian Chow (KCBC), bronze: Kyle Leung (Mandarin)
U17 GS: Allison Liang (E Badminton) defeated Munan Kong (E Badminton), bronze: Melissa Wen (Su Badminton)
U17 XD: Sarah Zhao (Granite) & Andy Ng (KCBC) defeated Yi Wei Zhou & Caleb Yang (Machi), bronze: Kristal Lim (C2 Badminton) & Owen Huang (E Badminton)
U17 BD: Julian Chow & Andy Ng (KCBC) defeated Jack Liu & Brian Lui (Lee’s), bronze: Michael Ho & Cameron Young (Mandarin)
U17 GD: Siya Lai & Yi Wei Zhou (Machi) defeated Danielle Tse (Suria) & Sarah Zhao (Granite), bronze: Lily Li & Allison Liang (E Badminton)
U19 BS: Alex Chan (E Badminton) defeated Geoffrey Wong (E Badminton), bronze: Kevin Yang (Mandarin)
U19 GS: Victoria Duong (K-W Badminton) defeated Sirun Li (RW Badminton), bronze: Jennifer Shi (Char’s Badminton)
U19 XD: Sirun Li & Daniell Yang (RW Badminton) defeated Hannah Huxter & Adam Wilson (Port Hope), bronze: Kejie Zhang & Haohao Du (Soong Badminton)
U19 BD: Alex Chan & Geoffrey Wong (E Badminton) defeated Kyle Chen & Matthew Choy (Loker Badminton), bronze: Mark Kao & Kevin Yang (Mandarin)
U19 GD: Ai Jiang & Sirun Li (RW Badminton) defeated Madusha Gamage & Dulini Rathnasooriya (Soong Badminton), bronze: Amaris He & Joey Kuang (Bujak Badminton)
29 different clubs brought numerous athletes to Humber College from varying communities across the province – including farther-reaching districts like Bracebridge/Gravenhurst, North Bay, and Ottawa. Some brought upwards of 30 athletes to this final Junior B event of the season.
Ottawa’s Janet Hugli (Soong Badminton Academy) spoke very highly of her Junior B athletes, and their journey to get to this point.
“My husband and I – he is Dominic Soong, former number 2 in the world and a Level 4 National coach – always focus on grassroots development. We know how important it is to have strong technical skills in the beginning, so that you don’t have to re-do everything when they become teenagers. We don’t travel very often because it is extremely expensive, but when we do travel, we bring a big team and we position it as more than just sport. It’s an event – more of a sport-tourism idea. We tell (our athletes) that this is social bonding, as well as game-play development.
At Soong Badminton Academy, much like many of the other clubs within the province of Ontario, the multiple members regularly have opportunities to play against each other. But in order for the players to really develop, Janet points out it is imperative for the athletes to travel outside of the Ottawa region.
“Compared to a lot of the Toronto athletes who train five to seven days a week, our athletes train only once or twice a week. What this (Junior B tournament) does, is it gives our Ottawa players an opportunity to travel and play different people, and to be exposed to a lot of different people in a tournament venue.”
That same exposure to different styles of play works equally well for Kurt Tempelmans Plat’s athletes who drove from North Bay to compete in this weekend’s Junior B Championship event. Established in 2013, KTP Athletics is a relatively new club. With a background in tennis and an undergraduate degree in Business, Kurt saw a need for a badminton club in North Bay, and an opportunity to combine two of his passions. This weekend, he brought 11 athletes to compete at Humber College.
“This is only the first year we’ve been doing the Junior B circuit, so this is a new experience, but everybody has adjusted really well. And they keep wanting to come back, so we know that they’re really into it.”
KTP Athletics players train four to six hours per week. Many are multi-sport athletes, but a large component of the club’s athletes are solely badminton-focussed. For those competitors, Kurt says, the Black Knight Badminton Ontario Junior B Championship event is a very motivating experience.
“A lot of them have thought, while playing in our (smaller) circuit, that they’re really good players. Now they can see that it’s a bigger world, and there’s much more out there than just our District. Provincially, this gives them a really good opportunity to play. At the end of the day, this is a great learning experience, and they leave wanting to come back and do it again.”
Of all of the weekend’s wide-ranging competitive badminton communities, Warren Brownlee’s Gravenhurst Falcons Badminton Club has managed to successfully emerge from one of Ontario’s more diminutive centres. Lead by three volunteer coaches, the Falcons athletes train three evenings per week. And many of the group’s competitive athletes surfaced as a result of being part of a recreational program created for families.
“(Initially) they come in and they play as a family, and from that the kids become interested in the sport. They work their way up to the Junior B championships, but the maximum they can play (or train) in Gravenhurst is six hours per week.
Despite challenges that outlying areas and smaller centres face, Brownlee is confident in the future.
“Next year they’re going to play the (entire) circuit. Instead of playing one tournament, they’ll play the whole circuit – and they’ll learn to play at this level. They might have to seek out other ways to practice, instead of just playing in Gravenhurst – they might have to drive 10km up the road and also play in Bracebridge. But eventually, one day, we might end up with a Junior A player or two . . . who knows? It’s really about contributing to the world of badminton. But in a town like ours, you have to keep in that it’s recreational and fun.”
Ontario coaches’ approach to the long-term athlete development of Junior B players is both optimistic and admirable.
Badminton Ontario thanks Black Knight for its continued sponsorship of the Black Knight Junior A and Junior B circuits.
Badminton Ontario (BON) is a not for profit amateur sport organization responsible for badminton within the province of Ontario. Badminton Ontario's vision is to connect with all athletes participating in badminton in Ontario, inspire athletes to cherish badminton and establish it as their sport for life.
For more information contact: Sarah Miller, Badminton Ontario, cell (905) 749-0361 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org