Inaugural tournament gets the feathers flying

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The competition was fierce at this month’s inaugural Hertfordshire Wheelchair Badminton Tournament.

Local wheelchair players took on competitors from around the country, from as far afield as Cumbria and Devon.

The series of events included men’s and ladies’ wheelchair BMW 1, 2 and 3 singles, combined men’s and ladies’ wheelchair doubles and combined wheelchair mixed doubles.

The sport, also known as Parabadminton, is badminton adapted for wheelchair users.

Organised by the Hertfordshire Badminton Association and supported by Herts Sport Partnership, the event was a big success with around 20 players competing for the six titles available.

Herts Sports Partnership club coach and sports development manager John O’Callaghan said: “The standard of competition on show was first class and it is a pleasure for the Sports Partnership to have worked closely with the Hertfordshire Badminton Association to bring the event to fruition.”

Paula Robinson, from Nottingham, swept the board, winning the ladies’ singles, ladies’ doubles and mixed doubles events.

Berkhamsted’s Martin Rooke won the men’s 3 singles and joined forces with another Hertfordshire player, Gobi Ranganathan, to win the men’s double event.

Gobi, who trains at the Hertfordshire Sports Village and represents Great Britain, said: “I just want to say a big thank you to everyone for helping to make the Herts Championships possible.

“It really was a success and it couldn’t have gone any better. The feedback I’ve had from the other players and coaches has been great, and I am certain we’ll attract them all again to future events.

“I want to say a special thank you to Herts Sports Partnership for helping to make the Championships happen.”

The second Hertfordshire Championships will take place on Saturday, October 27 at Hertfordshire Sports Village.

For more information about wheelchair badminton in Herts, visit www.hertsbadminton.net