By Greg Price
The tradition of excellence in badminton at St. Mary’s School has continued.
The school went out to a mega tournament in Medicine Hat once again and dominated in the wide field as defending champions this past weekend.
“It’s huge. There’s 800 matches with 600 kids playing in it. We were defending champs in the aggregate and we won that again,” said Randy Spenrath, administrator with the St. Mary’s School badminton program.
St. Mary’s School also just finished counties (April 15, Coaldale) and the Grade 9 team won a banner, getting gold in every division. A number of the Grade 7 and 8s advanced to zones in the first week of May in Lethbridge.
The St. Mary’s School high school athletes just competed at a tournament in Chinook with Kaleb Muller playing up in the Grade 11 event and taking gold.
“Him and six others are going (today) to Medicine Hat for their zones,” said Spenrath.
Spenrath attributes the success of badminton in the school to its dedicated three coaches that instill passion about the sport in its students. Often seen as a secondary sport in most schools, badminton has a lot of prominence at St. Mary’s.
“We have huge numbers in our Grade 6 and 7s. I think there was something like 37 kids out. We try and keep the kids in tournaments, but it’s hard when you have that many numbers,” said Spenrath.
“But what keeps the program strong is we have a lot of good people associated with it. We have a really strong coaching staff and they make it a relevant sport, not just ‘we’ll do this because everything else is finished’ type of a thing. Kids buy into that to make the badminton program strong.”
Along with regular tournament play, the St. Mary’s School badminton team practices twice a week.