Bumper SA under 15’s comes to an end

Unfortunately, the sport we play and love does not have a great name: Badminton. It sounds very fancy, and according to ChatGPT, these are some of the words that rhyme with it: Hamilton, Clinton, dintin, linten, singleton, printin.I recently heard a new parent incorrectly call it Ben10. Awkward. So, our job to make badminton cool and relatable is difficult.
This will not deter us. We have recently started the BSA TV initiative, and it has been a hit. We interview kids briefly after matches for their input. Surprisingly, they have been eager to get their voices heard. This is an important channel of communication and helps our future stars prepare for their media duties at international events. We will be expanding the channel soon to share key bits of information. So, watch this space and keep sharing the links. Contact us with ideas to improve the service.
Now to the tournament.
This was the first junior national tournament of the year, and attendance was okay. Eleven teams participated in the Fairest Cape, but we will always want more. EP was in the house for the first time in years, great stuff. We had players from 10 provinces and regions, plus our passionate neighbors, Namibia.
The inter-provincials section was won by EGBA. Well deserved. They showed good team spirit to get over their neighbors, SGBA, at the final hurdle. It was a showcase final on the center court.
The latter rounds of the interprovincial competition were extremely competitive. This was evidenced by the 5th-6th playoff between SGBA B and Northern Cape. The Guatengers won by a single point after games and sets were equal. After a long and careful count off, crazy celebratory scenes ensued.
We had two triple champions in the individuals, which is always nice. And for Misha and Emily, the hard work paid off big time. We were able to increase the prize money significantly, thanks to sponsorship from commercial partners ShuttleStars Academy and Softmeet – the Messaging App (please download the app from the App Store).
The highlight of the finals was the men’s singles. It was a tense affair that everyone present will not forget in a hurry. And to Rico, going down 24-22 in the third set is never easy to stomach. But please take our plaudits and keep your head up.
This is an important tournament as it is the only one where we select a team to play internationally this year. Our selectors have chosen a strong team based on performances on court over the week. And I am sure all the players selected will be working hard over the coming months under Coach Dillan. They will give their utmost in Senegal for the U15 All African Championships. And for the newbies on the team, be proud when you step on the court with a South African shirt emblazoned with your name.
And a big thank you to WP for hosting the tournament. Everything went according to plan which keeps the attention on the courts and on the real stars of the week. This is my old stomping ground and I basically grew up in this hall. And I love bringing my badminton family, yes all of you, home when it is such good nick.
The officials also get a mention here. The tournament is labeled as a development one by BSA. So applying the rules in this setting is more of an art form. They contribute to the growth of the game by encouraging the kids to embrace the rules.
One done and three grand events to go in 2023. Next up will be the U19 Championships in Durban in June. So, surf’s up. This will be followed shortly in July by the U13/11/9 in Alberton, all the babies. I am also looking forward to going to East London for the U17s in October. Jam packed, I’d say.
Catch more of us on BSA TV. And please remember that we are not professional media people.
All the best,
Junior Chair