Next month, the Pacific Under 15 Invitation Team Challenge will be coming to Auckland. The new player development initiative for under 15 players from targeted Pacific member countries will see teams from Cook Islands, Guam, New Caledonia, Northern Marianas, Tahiti and Tonga compete in the Mixed Team tournament.
Opening with a two-day training camp at Massey University (8-9 February) and followed by three days of tournament action at Badminton North Harbour (10–12 February), the players will compete alongside the continent’s top under-19 players at the VICTOR Oceania Junior Championships 2023, allowing them to gain international competitive experience, with technical officials, live score and medal presentations.
Among Guam’s continent, 12-year-old Offeia Wang is preparing to make her mark after her mum heard about a new badminton-specific center opening in early 2022, and encouraged Offeia to play.
Like many of the players, this will be her first taste of international action. Only ten month’s into discovering the sport, she is already reaping the benefits which are helping her to perform better at school and enhancing social skills. Learn more about her journey ahead of the tournament:
Tell us about yourself…
“My interests and hobbies are playing badminton, art, and learning piano. I got into the sport when the Guam Badminton Center opened about 10 months ago. I heard about it from my mum and wanted to give it a try. After the first time playing I really enjoyed badminton and asked my mum if I could take some classes. She said, yes and I started to learn and to take it more seriously because I enjoy playing”
What difference has badminton made in your life?
“Badminton has had a positive influence on my life, I have become more active and focused. It has made me feel less stressed and more focused on all my other classes”
What are you most excited about the Pacific Under 15 Team Challenge?
“What I am most excited about the Pacific Under 15 Team Challenge is that I will be able to experience what a serious tournament will be like and the opportunity to meet people from New Zealand with the same enjoyment for badminton that I have”
Offeia will be one of the very first players on court as Guam open proceedings against the Cook Islands. The tournament is played in a round robin format and the draws are available to view now on Tournament Software.