With the growing popularity of badminton in Papua New Guinea, yet only half marked badminton courts available to the aspiring players, the talent of Papua New Guinea’s Para badminton players could not go unnoticed as Badminton Oceania’s Coaching and Development Officer, Ian Bridge, and Regional Development Officer, Kini Karo, stepped in to lead a Para badminton development camp for 13 players in January.
Alongside the support of Papua New Guinea’s Brian Karo and BWF Shuttle Time teacher, Bella, the four eager leaders of badminton lead sessions with their adapted disability badminton knowledge to develop the skills and techniques if the aspiring players.
Additionally, the team marked out badminton courts in the correct size for the players to get a more realistic understanding of the sport. This was especially important for the four players from Papua New Guinea who will be competing in the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2020, from 13-15 February.
- Jerome Bunge
- David Joe Kaniku
- Danny Ten
- Nelly Ruth Leva
Playing on a proper badminton court at the Ken Kay Badminton Stadium will not be the only new experience for the four players, it will also be the first time that they have been abroad.
“As well as developing their skills and techniques, we have been mentally preparing them for what is going to happen in Australia and learning more rules about the game”, says Ian Bridge.
Lower-leg amputee player, Jerome Bunge, went viral in 2019 for his inspirational clip of playing badminton while using his crutch, and he looks forward to putting his skills to the test next week.
“I am very excited about the upcoming Championships and I’m looking forward to being classified so that I can observe the style of play and techniques used by those with SL3 classification”
“I believe the preparations have been tough but adequate, especially with Ian and I want to thank his dedication in helping paras here in Papua New Guniea. I know it’s not going to be easy but I will put to use what I has been taught by Ian including Brian, Kini and Nigel”, says Jerome.
Another newcomer, Nelly Ruth Leva, shares the mixed emotions ahead of the continental championships.
“I am looking forward to the event but I am very nervous as is my first event. I have been playing for only a short time but am privileged to do the training we have in PNG before this event. I will do my best.”
“Also like to say thankyou to the BWF who are supporting me with a female participation grant”, says Nelly.
As part of the Australian Sports Partnerships Programme, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have helped to make it possible for the players from Papua New Guinea to attend the Championships.
You can follow the progress of the players on Tournament Software and the Badminton Oceania Facebook page.