For the first time, the VICTOR Oceania Championships will combine the able-bodied and the Para badminton Championships in the same venue, in the same week.
Last year, we saw the benefits from Oceania’s players who attended the TOTAL BWF World Para Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland. Australia’s Luke Missen was delighted to see the likes of his favourite Para badminton players, Jack Shephard and Krysten Coombs, compete alongside the world’s top players.
Fast forward to 2020, Oceania will follow suit and combine the Para badminton Championships with the Men’s and Women’s Teams Championships in Ballarat, from Thursday 13 – Sunday 15 February.
Among the list of 34 Para players, Australia’s Céline Vinot explains her excitement to see Oceania’s best players on the courts parallel.
“It’s great to see the events combined this year. It allows us Para players to mingle, learn from and watch the best able-bodied Oceania players.”
“I volunteered as a line judge at last year’s Oceania champs, and learnt so much from that, so it’s great to have to opportunity to play alongside them and to show some of those players who have never seen para-badminton before, what it is, and the similarities between the games”, says Celine.
The last VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships took place in 2018 in Geelong, Victoria. Vinot was a relatively fresh face in the sport back then, taking motivation from her third place finish in the Women’s Singles SL3 + SL4 classification and first in the exhibition Women’s Doubles standing category.
Since then, Vinot has attended multiple training sessions and Para badminton development camps, largely lead by Badminton Oceania’s Development and Coaching Officer, Ian Bridge, and is confident that her return to the Continental Championships will make a bigger mark on the court.
“I’ve come a long way and improved my game since the last Oceania Championships. I look forward to see how I handle the pressure this year, especially as there are some new faces competing – many of which I’ve never seen play” says Celine.
Follow all results from the event next week on Tournament Software.