Prince Rupert has a history of pumping out strong badminton players, with Canadian men’s doubles professional Adrian Liu leading the charge.
The community has four players going to Prince George’s 2016 North Central Badminton Tournament this weekend.
It’s a competition that was well-represented by Rupert last year and will be again with Tam Tran, Amy Dopson, Jonathan Barton and Phat Tran attending this year’s tourney.
“Last year I played (in this event), I went in wanting to gain experience and [the players] are pretty good there. The goal is to go into the event and have a good time, and see how far we can get in there,” said Tam.
“To prepare, we play through the club at the civic centre. I try to play every day to keep in shape and stay sharp. We’re looking to get better every time we go into these tournaments. So next weekend we go to Prince George, which I am doing three events: men’s singles, men’s doubles, and the mixed doubles.”
Tam will be partnering with Dopson for the mixed doubles division.
Badminton requires a lot of repetition with the footwork and the stroke to be effective. Quickness and hand-eye coordination is a very important part of the game, and with the ability that these athletes have to train five to seven days a week, they are going to continue to get better and better, especially with how dedicated they are to their training.
Jonathan Barton commented on what events he will play this year, and on the synergy that he and Tam have, having attended many competitions together in the past.
“I competed in singles and doubles events in this competition last year, with Tam as my partner in doubles. I will compete in the same events this year. I’m not quite sure how long Tam and I have known each-other, probably four or five years, so we have come a long way together. We both compete in the open bracket. This is the highest level bracket.”
Barton spoke about the expectations he has for himself: “I’m going into it not really caring about how far I go, rather I am trying to focus on each match as they come. I will worry about the rest later, if it comes.”
The event takes place Friday to Sunday.