The Primary School Badminton tournament held yesterday was a huge success, giving youngsters the opportunity to show-off their skills at the Bluesky Sports Arena.
A total of 96 children competed in the competition from Year 4-6.
The students from eight different primary schools were each accompanied by one teacher and 20 volunteers assisted with the running of the event.
Cook Islands Badminton Association director Thomas Ngauru said badminton is a great alternative sport for children who aren’t into rugby, netball and other seasonal sports.
“You don’t have to be the most athletic, the fastest or the tallest to be able to play and become good at it,” he said.
Ngauru says tournaments are not just about winning but also showing good sportsmanship, teamwork and also giving the children something to work towards.
“It allows them to see badminton being played at a high level and gain a greater appreciation for the sport.
“We hope to inspire the children to pursue badminton further.”
Ngauru says badminton is all about angles.
“It probably has got one of the most difficult scoring systems our of any sport that requires a lot of concentration and learning their odd and even numbers,” he said.
For most children badminton is played at home in the back yard, but Ngauru says tournaments like these shows the children the next level.
“It also gives us an opportunity to identify children who may have the potential to represent the country in the future for example the AIMS Games School Championships in Tauranga, New Zealand,”
For some children, competing in the tournament was their first time playing the sport.
Ngauru said giving every child an opportunity to compete and reveal hidden talents is one of our goals of running the event.
And not only did the children uncover their unseen skills, but they didn’t want to break-away from the game.
“The children absolutely loved it. In fact, the hardest thing is getting them to stop,” he said.