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Badminton Oceania opened its Pacific Island Player Camp and the Keeping One Step Ahead management course at Badminton North Harbour today.
The management course is a Badminton World Federation and Women in Badminton inspired programme that focuses on upskilling administration of the sport in the Oceania region.
The Pacific Island Player Camp provided the perfect backdrop as players from Guam, New Caledonia, Tahiti and Tonga were put through a series of fitness tests and training courtesy of New Zealand national team coaches Tracy Hallam and Peter Jensen.
Badminton Oceania President Geraldine Brown said it was a valuable opportunity for athletes and administrators to come together to exchange ideas, network and measure themselves against those from other parts of a wide geographic region in competition.
“The BWF likes to support local Oceania Federations and its vital we understand what we have to do in our role as administrators of the sport. I’m very proud Oceania Badminton have put forward this initiative and that we have so many women present.
“There is a focus on women’s development at the BWF and it’s great to see such a diverse mix of people from different countries participating in the workshop and competition ahead. I’m sure it’s going to be a very rewarding experience,” Brown said.
“This is vital. In the past the focus was purely about Australia and New Zealand and Badminton was unheard of in the Pacific to a competitive international level and other countries didn’t have structures in place.
“Countries like Tonga now have programmes in place like Shuttle Time which is a BWF initiative which provides free resources, training and education. The outcome of that initiative is that we now have players at this clinic training and on a pathway toward becoming good players,” Brown said.
The Pacific Island Player Camp and Keeping One Step Ahead programme are the vanguard of a busy week for Badminton Oceania with the Oceania Mixed Team Championships (16-18 February and 2016 Oceania Men's and Women's Team Championships (19-21 February) scheduled for next week.