Junior NT badminton players won gold at the Under 13 Interstate Series & Regional Teams Challenge/ Australian National Championships in Melbourne over the weekend.
It’s the first time an NT junior team has come away with victory at the championships.
The team, made up of James Delosa, Bernadete Aniceto, Elysia Viravong and Romy Puhalovich from Darwin and Palmerston, defeated the Victoria Combo Roos in the Final to win Gold in the Under 13 Australian Regional Teams Challenge (11 matches won to 1 match lost).
NT Junior Coach Saidina Pawero said the kids were really determined to play their best as a team and lifted themselves to a whole new level for the occasion.
“They believed they had the talent to take on the strong regional teams from the more favoured states of Victoria and NSW,” Mr Pawero said.
In the National Championships, Romy Puhalovich (Boys Singles Event) and Bernadete Aniceto (Girls Singles Event) finished in the top eight after making the quarter finals.
Romy was defeated by Marcus Kong of Victoria 31-18. Bernadete lost to the No. 1 seed and eventual winner Victoria He of NSW, 30-15.
In another display of NT junior talent, Romy Puhalovich (NT) and Pascal Souksavat (ACT) paired-up in the Boys Doubles Event and finished equal third.
They lost in the semi-finals to the No.1 seeding pair and eventual winners Ross Audley and Ryan Venpin from Victoria.
It was the first time a NT junior has made the semi-final of a national championships.
“We’re all so very proud of all of our kids’ efforts,” Mr Saidina Pawero said. “To have coaches from other states notice the talent we have in the NT is fantastic. With James, Bernadete and Elysia still able to play Under 13s next year, it’s exciting to see how they will use this experience as a stepping stone for next year’s tournament. The future looks really bright for badminton in the NT!”
“As an organization, we’ve worked very hard to build and develop our junior players. Sports House has been critical for us, as it provides the dedicated playing venue that we’ve needed so that our kids train regularly and uninterrupted,” NT Badminton Association President Rodney Pearce said.
NT Badminton is still in negotiation with the Northern Territory Government to identify a suitable replacement venue for when its current tenancy at Sports House expires on 31 March 2014.
For more information visit www.saveoursport.org.au or follow NT Badminton on: www.facebook.com/SaveOurSportNT and twitter.com/SaveOurSportNT