June 26th, 2019

Junior high badminton tourney lives up to its name

By Medicine Hat News on April 13, 2019.

NEWS PHOTO SEAN ROONEY - Duchess' Kaylee Steidel takes aim at a birdie during the Mega Tournament at the Southridge YMCA Friday.

If it isn’t the biggest badminton tournament in Alberta, or perhaps beyond, it’s got to be up there.

With 669 athletes playing 1,079 matches Friday and Saturday, Medicine Hat’s Mega Tournament is a hive of activity.

“This year we’ve increased the games,” said Curt Moll, the athletic director at St. Mary’s School which co-runs the event with Notre Dame Academy. “We made the pools a bit bigger, we used to go with pools of four and now we’re going with pools of five. This is the whole idea, this type of tournament is to give the kids as many games as we can.”

It was only Grade 7 players on Friday with the Grade 8 and 9 students taking the court Saturday at the Southridge YMCA and Notre Dame combined gym space.

With the city meet coming up next week, then zones in Lethbridge in early May, the Mega Tournament is in the unusual position of being a lead-in to the end of the season, rather than something happening earlier in the junior high schedule. Moll expects that to result in a higher level of play through the weekend, and it certainly made his life easier Friday with the Grade 7’s.

“A lot of these kids have already played in the other local tournaments, so we don’t have to spend as much time at the start… explaining everything,” said Moll. “They know what’s going on. So the level of competition is better, the kids are a little more skilled at this point.”

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