Samoa Badminton Federation has kick started its first trials tournament in preparation for Pacific Games.
The first half of the tournament was hosted at the Robert Louis Stevenson College yesterday and will conclude on 21st July. The results will form the qualifiers points for the adults.
This tournament is for juniors’ capacity building, badminton development and the pre-trails for the Samoa’s national team for the 2019 Pacific Games.
President of the Samoa Badminton Federation (S.B.F.), Nynette Sass said: “We have all the kids between ages five-12 playing and getting used to the rules of the badminton games, all our outreach drill programmes are now coming into this tournament. It is to test their skills and start playing in a formal tournament, for instance majority are the Congregational Christian Church (C.C.C.) children of Savaia.
“It is also the preparation for six kids representing the S.B.F. and Samoa in the Association of Intermediate and Middle Schools (A.I.M.S.) in Tauranga, New Zealand held every year. This will be the first time that Samoa will compete in the A.I.M.S. games.
“All players new and old coming together in this tournament as pre-trials for the Badminton Federation just before the squad is selected.”
Nynette said all the preparation was organised by S.B.F. executive and the focus is to have more players coming back for trials but especially have more gold medals for Samoa in the upcoming Pacific Games.
“Last year, there were over 10,000 students between the ages of 10-13 competing in various sports.
“We intend to build up a strong junior female team as well for next year. The bulk of our young players are from the village of Savaia where the young people are coached by our shuttle time teachers Sila Efeso, Cherish Reti and Joel Reti and overseen by the shuttle time tutor Lemalu Selesitina Reti.
“In Apia, we have a strong resurgence of adult players and a smaller group of juniors. We are excited about seeing all the former players making a comeback as they have expressed interest in qualifying for the squad to compete in the upcoming Pacific Games.
“We have just trained up another four more shuttle time teachers, and so will be commencing new intake of juniors as well as training up more teachers at the identified colleges,” she added.