Our November Serve-ing Pacific winner is Danny Simpson of the Cook Islands Badminton association. Danny who contributes in many different areas of Badminton from administration to coaching and is a Oceania umpire also. Danny was nominated for his commitment to the value of leadership.
Tell us about yourself?
I grew up playing badminton at school, I also had a lot of friends who played it. Badminton was the social game amongst my friend group, I didn’t start playing serious until my mid 20s. By then I had two kids and a full time job, so finding time was difficult.
Tell us about your roles and journey with Badminton?
My family moved to the Cook Islands just over two years ago now, we played casually at Counties Manukau when we got here we wanted to continue playing especially my kids. So we went to some social nights and entered some competitions. The more we played the more involved we got.
What do you enjoy the most about badminton as a sport?
I like the fast pace, the quick thinking. The strategies you implement, especially in Men’s Doubles. The social aspect is also another part which I enjoy.
What do you enjoy the most about volunteering in badminton?
Watching the kids keep getting better, the confidence it gives the kids. When the kids exceed expectations and surprise everyone, even themselves.
You were nominated for your commitment to leadership – what do these values mean to you and how do you embody the value with Badminton?
Leadership to me is knowing where you are and where you wanna end up, and how to get there. I guess I demonstrate leadership by practicing what I teach.
What role do you think badminton plays in your country/community?
Badminton in the Cook Islands means so many things to different people. For some people it’s a social game, for others it’s a place to fit in where they don’t really fit in with other sports. Some like the competition aspect and want to keep growing and get better.
What impact do you hope to make through your involvement in badminton?
I want to help the Cook Islands Badminton to qualify and compete at the commonwealth games.
What is your message to aspiring players and leaders?
Hard work pays off.
What is your favorite memory or highlights of volunteering in badminton?
Training and coaching the Cook Island team as the Oceania U15 invitational team challenge that was held early 2023. I learnt heaps and the kids learnt a lot.