Ottawa, On - Badminton Canada is pleases to announce the 2017-18 Black Knight Para- Badminton National Team!
Para-badminton National Team:
Bernard Lapointe (WH2): University of Moncton – Moncton, New Brunswick
· Currently top 10 in the world for Men’s Singles, Bernard is one of our most promising athletes that have emerged from our Para-badminton program in Canada. Training at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick with personal coach Mark LaForge, Bernard is hopeful to represent Canada at the international stage, with sights set on the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Pascal Lapointe (SL4): Centre Pierre-Charbonneau – Montréal, Québec
· Pascal is currently the 29th ranked player in the world in the SL4 category. Having played badminton for most of his life, Pascale has become more involved with the para-badminton program in the last 18 months. During this time, Pascal has won gold in Doubles at the 2016 Pan Am Championships and has had some great matches, beating top 20 players.
Wyatt Lightfoot (SS6): Cross Court Badminton Club – Regina, Saskatchewan
· Wyatt is the youngest of our Para-badminton National Team members at age 14. Showing great potential to improve his talents, Wyatt trains closely with personal coach, Frank Gaudet out of Cross Court Badminton Club in Regina, Saskatchewan. Winner of both the 2016 and 2017 Para-badminton National Championships in the Short-Stature classification, Wyatt has the potential to be part of Team Canada and represent our country for many years to come.
Richard Peter (WH1): Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club – Vancouver, British Columbia
· Richard is one of the newest members to the para-badminton program. Now retired after an extremely successful career in Wheelchair Basketball, winning 3 gold medals in 5 Paralympic Games, Peter has brought his athletic talents to the badminton court, becoming the 2017 Para-badminton National Champion. Richard is also the proud recpeient of the Tom Longboat National Award for Aboriginal Male Athlete of the year in 2000, and recicipient of the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2012. We hope that Peter can continue to be an inspiration for our para and aboriginal communities, and represent Canada on the highest levels of competition.
Yuka Chokyu (WH1): Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club – Vancouver, British Columbia
· Yuka brings a wealth of experience to the Para-badminton National Team as a three-time Paralympian in wheelchair tennis. Her talents are equally as impressive on the badminton court, claiming the Women’s Singles title at the 2017 Para-badminton National Championships, conceding only 29 points throughout the tournament.
Para-badminton Head Coach:
Ram Nayyar: Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club – Vancouver, British Columbia
· Ram is the recipient of the 2014/15 viaSport Coach of the Year Award in the International Category - presented to the individual who has been acknowledged for their outstanding contribution to the well-being of athletes at the international level. Ram’s coaching philosophy and methods are well suited to lead our Para-badminton National Team to excellence on the highest stages of competition.
With 5 athletes from across the country representing Canada at the highest level of para-badminton, Badminton Canada is thrilled with the development of our Para-badminton programs over the past few years.
With goals set for the upcoming 2017 World Para-badminton Championships in Ulsan, Korea at the end of November, and further towards the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, Badminton Canada is committed to supporting our athletes in the pursuit of international excellence.
“It is both exciting and rewarding to be working in the field of Para-badminton. Exciting because we are building a new sport in Canada; rewarding by seeing new athletes being introduced to the program and being able to guide them to be the best athletes possible” said Ram Nayyar, Para-badminton National Team Head Coach. “Of course, it is a process to get the para-badminton program to reach its full potential in Canada, but I look forward to working closely with our athletes to reach our goals as a team and a country”.