Belmont students may have dabbled at badminton in P.E. class, but after a 20-year hiatus, the Bulldogs badminton team has been revived.
“I like to play and there was enough interest from the kids to start a team,” said coach Brian Willing.
The co-ed team secured second place in the city championships in the B league on May 5.
While Reynolds secondary school took the first place win, Willing said his team had a good chance of beating them.
“We beat them here (at Belmont) the week before,” Willing said.
While the school has a large enough student body to play in the A league, Willing decided to enter the team into the B league due to the students lack of experience in the racquet sport.
“The kids knew a bit, but didn’t know about positioning or finesse. The serving was awful when we first started out,” Willing said. “For our first season we did pretty well. Other schools had players with four years of experience (being on school teams).”
In the B league only the first place team makes it to the Islands championships. If Belmont had earned second place in the A league they would be competing in the Islands.
“To get where we got, we had to work together and solidify the group,” said Grade 11 player Zachary MacNeil. “We also had a lot of fun.”
With the success of the team this year, Willing said there will be a badminton team next year.
“Next year we are going to run a club starting in September before the season starts (to get students ready),” Willing said.
A challenge the team faced this season was not enough female players, and Willing is going to try to recruit more female players for next year.