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Southern Schools Badminton Festival Made Possible By Local Donation 27 November 2006

The National Sports Centre in Douglas played host to the first ever Southern Schools Badminton Festival yesterday afternoon with over 50 children from primary schools in the south participating.

The Festival was made possible with the generous donation made to Manx Sport & Recreation from the Amanda Lowe Memorial Fund. The fund was set up by Amanda’s family, following her death in the Asian tsunami and it was intended that the donation should benefit young people on the Island whilst reflecting Amanda’s interests. Amanda’s mother, Jan Lowe says “She loved any kind of sport and badminton was one of the earliest that she took part in. She was a member of the Castletown Club whose home at that time was Port St Mary Town Hall, a far cry from the splendid facilities available today at the NSC and in school sports halls all around the Island”.

The build up to the Festival began back in September with the facilitation of a Badminton Training Course for teachers, parent helpers and students to attend. In sending two or more representatives on to the training course each of the southern schools were rewarded with an allocation of badminton equipment purchased with the donation from the Amanda Lowe Memorial Fund.

Armed with new equipment and newly qualified teachers & helpers, schools then set up after school badminton clubs which ran for a period of 8 weeks. The initiative then culminated, with the Southern Schools Badminton Festival where children were able to test their skills against others of their own age and ability.

Dominic Hobdell, Badminton & Hockey Development Officer reported “considering the majority of these year 3 & 4 children were picking up a badminton racket perhaps for the first time 8 weeks ago, the standard of players was surprisingly good. It is hoped that now these children have had their first taste of badminton in School they will now progress on to playing in a community club”.

Children attending yesterday’s festival were invited to join a brand new Junior Badminton Club which is being launched early in December. Recognising the need for an additional junior badminton club in the south, Manx Sport & Recreation in partnership with the Isle of Man Badminton Association have worked hard to make the launch of the new club possible. The necessary pathways are now in place for these children to continue playing the sport outside of the school environment should they choose to do so. For further details on the new club please contact either Dominic or Emma on 688592.

Emma Callow, School Sports Co-ordinator for the South says; “sincere thanks must go to the donation made by the Amanda Lowe Memorial Fund for providing the money to pay for the new equipment in the southern schools. This equipment will remain in the schools for years to come and will provide children with the opportunity to play badminton both in lesson time and at after school clubs. Thanks must also go to members of the IOM Badminton Association who gave up their time yesterday to umpire at the festival.”

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