by Supplied

Badminton players go hard at local and national comps

St Paul's boys and girls badminton teams both competed at the Waikato Badminton Secondary School Competition last term, finishing with superb results!
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Division 2 Girls’ 

This year the girls managed to build on last year’s performances. With seasoned players in the team, along with a mix of newer players, the girls did superbly well to come second in Division 2. With some good wins and great camaraderie within the team, the girls were presented their runners up medals at the Waikato Badminton Secondary School Competition prize giving held on Tuesday 17 Sep at Eastlink Badminton Stadium. Special mention goes to Sarina Liang who has captained the team this year and organised the team so effectively. 

Division one Boys'

2019 saw the return of the boys’ team to division one after a lengthy absence. This promotion back into the top division was well justified as last year the team convincingly won division two. The team players for this year are: Seven Wen (Year 13), Nic Kyon (Year 13), Simon Han (Year 13), Eddie Bi (Year 9), Ben Back (Year 11) and Gabe Panvinichkul (who returned for the second half of the season after finishing Tihoi). The boys played with confidence and pulled off some resounding wins. They won all their matches bar two, both times losing to Hillcrest Gold who later went on to win the division.

With such a strong season behind them, the team finished runners up in Division 1, and were presented with their medals at the Waikato Badminton Secondary School Competition prize giving held on Tuesday 17 September at Eastlink Badminton Stadium. Congratulations go to all these boys who have lifted the quality of badminton play in the school. Special mention goes to Steven Wen who has played interschool matches from Year 9 and who is currently our number one player and captain. 

National Tournament Week 

Boys team

Our Premier Badminton team came runners-up in the Waikato Secondary School competition this year which meant, that for the first time ever, we were in a good position to enter the Secondary School Nationals competition. Our team was comprised of four senior students: Steven Wen, Simon Han, Nic Kyon and Ben Back, plus two juniors Gabe Pinvanichkul and Eddie Bi, the team was all set to travel to Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua.

Unfortunately on the day of departure, illness meant that our number one player was unable to travel, so we had to travel one vital player short.

The ties are completed with two doubles matches and four singles matches played, with each match played with the winner and the first to win two games to 21 points.

St Paul’s first match was against Waimea combined, which was essentially a Nelson area rep team, made up of three secondary schools to complete one team. We lost that match 6-0.

St Paul’s were then up against Newlands College. We won the first doubles match. In the second, Eddie suffered from a bleeding nose when we were 6-2 up in the first game. Unable to staunch the blood, we had to forfeit the match 21-6, 21-0, and Eddie had to withdraw from the tie. Unfortunately, this eventually cost us the tie, as we drew three matches all, and seven games all, it went down to points, and St Paul’s lost by 15 points on countback. This put us into the bottom half of the draw, and from there we had a fairly easy ride.

St Paul’s played Onehunga High School and won 6-0. They then played Hutt Valley High School and won 5-1.

Wednesday saw us play against Whangarei Boys’ High School, and we won 6-0 and in the afternoon we beat Hastings Boys’ High School 6-0.

That meant that on Thursday we met Takapuna Grammar to see who won the “plate” of Division Two. They had had a surprise loss the previous day against Whangarei Boys’, but we needed to win to ensure our place at the top of our group.

We lost the first doubles match but came back strongly in the second to even it out at 1-1. Then St Paul’s went ahead with Nic winning our first singles match, Eddie then won the second singles and Simon won the third, putting match out of contention. A hard-fought match between Gabe and the Takapuna number one saw the Takapuna player come out on top, but by then St Paul’s had secured top place in the pool, and came away satisfied with our performance, given the setbacks that we’d had.

The boys all played extremely well and gained a lot from the experience. A big thank you to Mrs Helen Chileshe for taking the boys to the tournament.