Pictured: Team Northern Marianas arrive in Guam
Oceania is a region made up of thousands of islands. Not a single country in the continent is joined by land and the Pacific Ocean covers the majority of land mass. For many of Badminton Oceania’s 17 member associations, travel between countries would vary (on average) from 3-12 hours, with Northern Marianas (NMA) and Guam (GUM) being a rare exception.
Previously, the two neighbouring countries have taken advantage of their closeness by joining forces to compete and train together. Over this coming weekend, the two teams will reunite for the first time since before the pandemic began, as NMA have been invited to the 2022 Guam Badminton Invitational Tournament.
Additionally, both teams will take part in an exhibition match in preparation for the upcoming Northern Marianas 2022 Pacific Mini Games, scheduled to take place from 17-25 June 2022.
The players will benefit from Guam’s new badminton facilities. Guam Badminton Sports Centre opened at the beginning of February – a significant development for Guam National Badminton Federation who now have a permanent residence and capabilities to deliver more Shuttle Time and Special Olympics sessions, alongside more tournaments to develop their players.
“This serves as a great opportunity to test each team’s readiness for competition” said Guam Badminton President, Sandra Low.
The 13-player delegation from NMA includes previous Samoa 2019 Pacific Games competitors and fresh talent: Nate Guerrero, Andreau Galvez, Jordan Pangilinan, siblings Ezekiel and Daniel Macario, Leonard Isaiah Manueland Paulo Jerome Quidato (men), joined by Janelle Pangilinan, Jenine Savellano, Jeanelyn Cardinio, Patricia Nicole Surima, Windy Ann Fernandez, and Mikamaika Serrano (women).
Paulo Quidato is one of the youngest players on the team at 16 years old, who will participate in both age group and classification events and is looking forward to the experience, as he competes in Guam for the first time.
“I’m very excited to compete in Guam. I am looking forward to playing against new people who have very different and unique playing styles. I really want to face these new strong players to help myself improve and to better my”
Text adapted by Saipan Tribune and Pacific Daily News
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