International badminton medalist starting badminton club to help athletes make 2020 B.C. Games

With the 2020 BC Winter Games taking place in Fort St. John, it’s only fitting there should be as many local athletes taking part as possible. Unfortunately, some athletes in town don’t have a proper avenue to improve and qualify for the Games.

That’s the case for badminton, and it’s something Rishav Sharma — an international para-badminton medalist and certified B.C. badminton coach — plans to change.

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“We are the hosts for the BC Winter Games, so we should have kids playing in it too. Right now, if kids want to play badminton Fort St. John, they only get to do it for one month in school,” said Sharma.

“This club is for kids who want to play at the competitive level and don’t currently have a way to do it.”

The first club night was held Wednesday night, September 25, and the club will continue every Wednesday night at Bert Ambrose Elementary until December 11.

Kids aged 9 to 12 will practice from 5 to 6 p.m., with kids 13 and 14 playing from 6 to 7 p.m.

While only kids aged 12 to 14 can qualify for the Winter Games, Sharma is hoping kids older and younger take part as well.

Badminton trials for Fort St. John’s zone will be held in Prince George in November, and Sharma is planning to take a group of athletes down for the tournament.

Sharma is happy with the initial number of kids who have registered, and is open to continuing the club into the new year if there is enough interest.

For more information or to register for the club, call Sharma at 250-793-8385.

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca

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