Featured above from left to right – Grant Manzoney, David Templeman, Julie Carrel, Nang Nquyen Van, Mark Cunningham, Caitlyn Dransfield, Lochan Cowper
Our Secretary General, Julie Carrel was in Perth, Western Australia for the launch of the “Festival of Badminton” happening in the seaside location of Mandurah, 70km south of the State Capital – Perth, later this year.
On hand to make the official announcement was the Western Australia Minister for Sport and Recreation, who also happens to reside in Mandurah; David Templeman MLA.
The Festival of Badminton consists of two Para badminton tournaments; back to back starting first with the Oceania Para Badminton Championships 29 Sept – 1 October which are for players from Oceania countries only; followed by the Western Australia Para Badminton International 2 – 6 October which is open to players from the world over. At both tournaments players will be able to earn valuable world ranking points which are all important in their quest to qualify for the Paris 2023 Paralympic Games.
It is expected that over 250 players and support staff will travel to Mandurah to be part of the action.
Western Australia Badminton Association (BAWA) President Mark Cunningham is a key driver of these tournaments although he is in no doubt of the enormity of the task ahead of him and his organising committee to make these tournaments a memorable experience for everyone involved.
At the launch, where the tournaments were officially announced to the media, players and the community, Minister Templeman was quick to jump into a wheelchair and have a go with three local accomplished wheelchair players. Western Australia can proudly boast that the first two badminton Paralympians (Tokyo 2020) representing Australia were both from WA; Caitlyn Dransfield – SL4 and Grant Manzoney – WH2; both players are looking forward to playing at home in front of friends and family.
Julie Carrel congratulated BAWA on their vision and commitment to this tournament, saying “the players will absolutely love the local environment of Mandurah and all that it has to offer; this will be a tournament they will remember for many reasons not just what happens on the court. We are committed to working with BAWA closely to deliver these tournaments to a high standard which will bring a lot of kudos to BAWA, Badminton Australia and our area from visitors outside of the region. I am excited, I can visualise how good these tournaments will be and the buzz which will be around Mandurah come tournament time, I cannot wait until September to bring these tournaments to life”.