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Stevens ready for Raro event

Wednesday 12 January 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Badminton, Sports

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Stevens ready for Raro event
Sue Stevens. Image/ BADMINTON OCEANIA

New Zealand-based Sue Stevens ready to take on Oceania Masters in Paradise after finishing chemotherapy.

Badminton Oceania, in partnership with Badminton Cook Islands, is delighted to be bringing the first masters (over 35s) tournament – Oceania Masters in Paradise 2022 – to the Cook Islands from 26-31 May 2022.

Among the inspiring pool of players who have already registered to take part, New Zealand’s Sue Stevens is delighted to be making a grand return to the court following her completion of chemotherapy in November 2021.

The inspiring mother-of-three and aspiring ultra-marathon runner is a prominent figure in New Zealand’s badminton circles, renowned for always stepping on court with a smile. She started playing badminton at the age of 10 and had not stopped playing since.

Representing the likes of local division and masters’ teams, she has spent numerous years contributing to the administration of the Te Rapa club, Tauranga Badminton Club and Bay of Plenty Badminton – with the latter two having become a lifetime member since 2003 and 2018 respectfully.

However, just over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic sent her resident country into a lockdown, Sue was in for more life-changing news.

“My Cancer (and journey) was so out of the blue. In April 2021 I was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo various tests, surgeries and chemotherapy treatment”

Thankfully, after eight months of rigorous procedures, Sue was given the ‘all clear’ in December 2021 and is unsurprisingly eager to catch up on a whole year of missed opportunities in badminton – jumping at the registrations for Oceania Masters in Paradise 2022.

It won’t be the first time Sue will be playing badminton in the Cook Islands either. On previous holidays, Sue carried her undying passion for badminton in her hand luggage and made time to attend sessions with the locals.

“I turned up to a club in Rarotonga while on holiday and was truly overwhelmed by their generosity and hospitality. The next time I went there I took over a lot of racquets and shuttlecocks too. The casual appearance did not bely the competitiveness of all players, always giving one hundred percent enthusiasm and their joyful expressions say it all.”

Excited by the prospect of rekindling friendships with the players in Rarotonga, while also catching up with compatriots on the beachfront bars and dining areas of The Edgewater Resort and Spa (the tournament’s official accommodation providers), Sue said: “I’m looking forward to catching up with those I recall. I’ve seen a few since they to the AIMS Games and also remain Facebook friends with some so I’m always able keep up to date from afar. I’m mostly looking forward to catching up with friends, the laid-back island lifestyle, the friendliness and the whole environment.”

“Badminton is my lifelong sporting love – I even got the tattoo – I’m now incredibly keen to get back into it, participating at club, local and regional competitions. On the masters’ scene, you keep on meeting the same people who are also flowing through the age groups, get to know them, catch-up, play competitively but then engage socially – such fun and great to look forward to”

Do you want to experience the same highs of master’s badminton? If you love travelling and like playing as part of a team, check out the itinerary and excitement of Oceania Masters in Paradise 2022. The event combines all the elements of travel, sunshine, badminton competition, tourist activities, and social functions with new and old friends.

An exclusive partnership with accommodation providers, The Edgewater Resort and Spa, along with an exciting player package (which includes transport to and from the airport, resort and playing venue) to make for a stress-free and memorable week. Get in quick – player package early bird deal ends on 30 January 2022 – register here.

Find out more about the event on the official webpage or join likeminded players in the Facebook group. If you’re a solo player hoping to compete, but don’t know others to form a team, email events@badmintonoceania.org to register your interest and Badminton Oceania could help you form a team with other solo players.

For all other questions and enquiries, email events@badmintonoceania.org.