Badminton juniors continue to sharpen skills

Members of the Whitehorse Youth Badminton Club have high aspirations. "All of our club members are working towards the Arctic Winter Games," said Cindy Guest, president of the Whitehorse Youth Badminton Club. "We have a few

Members of the Whitehorse Youth Badminton Club have high aspirations.

“All of our club members are working towards the Arctic Winter Games,” said Cindy Guest, president of the Whitehorse Youth Badminton Club.

“We have a few with visions of the Westerns and even the Canada Games.

“It takes about four years to train for those kind of competitions, so they’re all really working at it now.”

Competing in a pair of recent events, a handful of juniors raked in the medals.

Last weekend at Takhini Elementary’s Fun Tournament, Jerome Belanger, 15, took second in the B Group singles. Two weeks earlier he also won silver in men’s singles and bronze in men’s doubles at the Watson Lake Yukon Open.

Jerome’s brother, Francis Belanger, won gold in men’s doubles in Watson Lake.

“Francis has visions of doing Special Olympics,” said Guest. “I think he wants to hit the 2012 (Games).”

Another successful set of siblings were Jasmine, 18, and Leanne Gordon, 16, teaming up to win silver in women’s doubles in Watson Lake.

Jasmine also won gold in the mixed event. Leanne captured bronze in both mixed doubles and women’s singles and took home the Most Improved Player award. Last week she finished fourth in the B group.

Logan Godin, 14, won the B group at the Fun Tournament.

“Our team totally impressed us – they did absolutely amazing,” said Guest.

“The talent, the work and the enthusiasm has tripled since last year. They’re all doing amazingly well, they’re all working hard.”

In last week’s adult division Mark Janus took first, followed by Sandeep Sharma and Mill Matiation in third.

The next event in the territory will be the Yukon Junior Badminton Championships April 24-26 at Porter Creek Secondary School.

Whitehorse Badminton Club members will be meeting soon to discuss whether there will be another adult tournament this season.

“I don’t know if we’ll have time (to hold one),” said club secretary Eleanor Velarde. “Everybody’s real busy right now.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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