Hera Bucatan

Racqueteers hoping to build on successful first season

New Ladysmith Badminton Club for youth and life-long learners, have completed a successful first season

Racqueteers hoping to build on successful first season

The Racqueteers, a new Ladysmith Badminton Club for youth and life-long learners, have completed a successful first season and are hoping to continue to build youth badminton in Ladysmith in 2015.

The Racqueteers played more often at the Franklyn Gym in downtown Nanaimo than at Frank Jameson Community Centre (FJCC) in Ladysmith in their first season.

Coach Martin Pariseau says they are hoping to get a program at the FJCC for January.

“They have a nice floor there, the ceilings are high enough and there is sufficient space between the courts and walls,” he said. “It is also nice to have the stage there to provide the people who aren’t playing to chance to relax and enjoy observing the finer points of the game.”

The Racqueteers have no official association with FJCC, but their head coach says they hope to find a steady home in Ladysmith.

If they don’t get a program going at FJCC, he says players will end up going to Franklyn Gym again, which is a great gym but is a far drive for the Ladysmith players who struggle to carpool.

“If we can fit ourselves in the [FJCC] schedule in the coming year and be consistent with the time, I think we could build a long-term youth club,” he said, noting there is an adult league, but it doesn’t have the room to grow into what he envisions as a new activity to get the youth away from phones, monitors and negative peer pressures and into fun exercise. “I’m trying to re-start badminton in my community because it’s kind of dying down and I plan to play for a lot longer and am now helping to create the future generation of players who will provide me with competitive play at a local level.”

This year, there were six members in The Racqueteers. There is no charge to be a member of this Ladysmith Badminton Club, but it costs $15 a year to become a member of Badminton BC, which includes benefits such as group insurance coverage, explained the coach. If they get themselves set-up with a program at FJCC, then there will be a cost for the coaching segments and the drop-in fees.

The head coach congratulates women’s singles winner Hera Bucatan and doubles team winners Danica Stace-Smith and Hyacinth Bucatan for their great teamwork.

He also thanks Wen Xin Lin for bringing spectators and sponsor to the tournament as well as the amazing artwork that represents the club. He would also like to thank Wen Xin for being a good sport when she had to leave the tournament early and to Danica for coming up with the name “The Racqueteers.”

The coach, a competitive badminton player who won a medal in B.C.’s Provincial Masters circuit for this past season says that when he talks to people about badminton, they often remember the game they played in the backyard or in school but they don’t really realize it’s an Olympic sport that takes years and years of training to reach ones true potential.

“It’s so fast, the sport — it’s not just being incredibly physically fit, but its the ability to think strategically and to adapt quickly,” he said. “Anyone who gets some training and learns real techniques will see there are many benefits to taking on this activity for a lifetime.”

He says around 12 or 13 is usually the best age to start getting technical coaching.

“It’s at that age that students can really become consistent and learn techniques such as proper grip used for a variety of shots and also the footwork that teaches a player how to move back and forth more efficiently on the court,” he explained. “Sometimes I refer to it as a complex martial art — it’s not a contact sport, but it is extremely fast, well executed and a very precise technical sport when performed at higher levels of play.”

The Racqueteers would like to thank their 2014 sponsors: Martin Pariseau and Marevic Jordan, Ladysmith and District Credit Union, Brenda Virgin, Island Haircutting, Active Coaching Services, Dealers Choice, Roberts Street Pizza, Badminton BC, Mr. Popper’s Sweet Shoppe, 49th Parallel Grocery, Great Canadian Dollar Store, Carlos Place, Frank Jameson Community Centre and Tim Hortons.

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