Woodstock Badminton Club youth have a strong showing

The Bill Parkes Memorial Tournament (BPMT) took place this weekend at the Woodstock Badminton Club (WBC). In total, 102 athletes participated in 10 events representing secondary schools and badminton clubs from London, Ingersoll, Woodstock, Strathroy, Clinton, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo & Brantford. 

Performances of note included Christopher Nelson, who went undefeated in a large pool of Junior Boys to win the Junior Singles title. His sister Christina, also undefeated in her draw, went home with gold in Junior Girls Singles. The Nelson siblings also took home medals in doubles play on Sunday – Christopher a silver, and Christina another gold with partner Allison Larass, making it two golds for Christina Nelson.

Matt Zu, Woodstock Badminton Club, also turned in an outstanding performance to go undefeated in a talented pool of Senior Boys to capture the singles title as well as a silver in boys doubles.

Woodstock Badminton Club members and students in the high performance squad with notable performances included Matt Wilker, Derek Neeb and Zhao-Yu Tan. Tan captured silver in Senior Boys Singles after several hard fought battles to make it to the finals. His finals match with Matt Zu was very exciting to watch. Neeb placed 4th in the draw of 20 and Wilker tied for 5th place in Senior Boys Singles. Neeb and Wilker also faired very well in the Senior Boys Doubles draw on Sunday. They fought back through the consolation round to make it to the consolation finals. After a very close match with Matt Zu and his partner Adriaan Van Raaij that went 3 very close games, Neeb and Wilker took home the bronze medal.

On the girls side, Kristen Anguish fought through adversity and a strong field to make it to the finals, eventually capturing a silver medal. Way to go Kristen!

The Woodstock Badminton Club had several youth members who competed in their very first tournament. Notably, Alistair Downing and Will Waters placed 4th in Junior Boys Doubles in a strong pool of players, winning 2 of their matches. Also representing themselves well were Tyler Atkinson and Braeden Doucette who showed signs of exciting singles play and something to watch in their near future.

A special thank you to Andrew Downing, Tournament Director, who ran a flawless and extremely well organized event that was enjoyed by all. Thank you for your generous volunteer time Andrew for the benefit of all! 

Results and photos can be found here.

Derek Neeb Goes Undefeated

The Woodstock Badminton Club’s Derek Neeb put on a show at the Woodstock Youth Badminton Tournament this past Saturday. The tournament was initially billed as a regular championship / consolation tournament, however, Tournament Director Andrew Downing changed the format to a round robin to allow players more games. The attendance included players from the Stratford and Guelph clubs, providing for some stiff competition.

Neeb, a native of Ingersoll, played in the U19 category and went undefeated in all his matches. His final match went three games with Neeb losing his second game 27-25 but coming back in the 3rd to defeat his opponent 21-11. Both players received a resounding round of applause as they excited the court after providing spectators with a thrilling 25 minute match that had both players exhausted.  Neeb’s relentless attack and physical fitness proved the difference in the match.

An honourable mention goes to Ben Cougler, 10 years old, who was also undefeated in his matches, going 5-0 against the competition. Cougler, like Neeb, used an attacking strategy to continually pound the shuttle at opponents putting them on the defensive.

Neeb and Cougler are both athletes in the Woodstock Badminton Club’s High Performance Youth Program.

What is High Performance?

The High Performance Program at the Woodstock Badminton Club (WBC) is off to a great start. But, what is High Performance, what does that mean and where does that term come from? This article will break down the mystery surrounding High Performance in regards to the sport of badminton.

High Performance, in regards to sport, simply means to train or compete at the highest level that the sport offers. It is an opportunity for those athletes who want more out of their training than a recreational program can provide. High Performance is a term that is common to most sports and at the highest levels of badminton in Canada, High Performance refers to those athletes who are part of our national team. If an athlete has a desire to compete provincially or nationally, the High Performance Program at their respective clubs would give them the best chance of doing so.

Derek Neeb, High Performance Athlete

At the WBC, the High Performance Program has produced many champions over the years under the watchful eye of Head Coach, Sajjad Malik. This includes two provincial titles in 2000 and 2001 and Mike Beres, 8 National Titles, Canadian Olympian and Gold Medalist at the Pan Am Games.

Athletes can be any age in a High Performance Program although the most common ages are between 10 and 25. The High Performance Program has been reintroduced at the WBC this year with nine athletes qualifying. As we enter tournament season through Badminton Ontario, these athletes will be competing on a provincial level across Ontario. To qualify as a High Performance athlete at the WBC an athlete must achieve a proficient level of technical and physical progress at their age level, determined by the coaching staff.