Meriden is set to host its inaugural Inter-School Badminton Competition this term, with over thirty teams from five schools across Sydney registered to participate.
Director of Sport, Mr Adam Raw, said Badminton has proven exceedingly popular with Meriden students and the tournament was launched to keep up with the demand for friendly competition.
“We began to offer Badminton as a Saturday Sport to the girls in the Senior School just two years ago and it has experienced serious growth in that time, which led us to offer Badminton all year round,” he said.
“Meriden is proud to welcome students from across the city to our campus, where they can continue to build their on-court skills whilst keeping active.”
The Meriden Inter-School Badminton Competition will host Junior (Year 7), Intermediate (Years 8 and 9) and Senior (Years 10 to 12) divisions. Matches will be held weekly throughout the term, culminating in finals matches in Week 9.
Students will play in Meriden’s purpose-built Sports Centre, which offers eight full-sized courts. The courts were professionally marked in April, making elite-standard spaces available to girls for training and competitions.
Year 11 student, Joanna Sams, has been playing Badminton at Meriden since it was introduced in 2018.
“I like that Badminton makes you play with quick and accurate movements,” she said.
“You have to be a few steps ahead of your opponent and work out how your shot will influence their shot and then what you can do with their return.”
Joanna said she was excited about being a member of the Meriden squad in the school’s first home competition.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge! Having an incentive to train is always beneficial to your performance and facing players from different schools will be fun.”
Like Joanna, Year 11 student Sissi (Mingxi) Shen also signed up for Badminton when it was offered last year, but she’s no stranger to the sport.
“The first time I played Badminton was when I was in elementary school in China, where it was a compulsory sport for PE classes. We used to play for fun in class but I was also selected to be part of the school team to compete in an inter-school competition.”
“I have not played Badminton at all since 2011, then last year I joined the Saturday Badminton competition at Meriden. I relished the opportunity to be able to play the sport again and to refresh and improve my technique whilst having an enjoyable time with my friends.”
For Sissi, the flexibility and accessibility of Meriden’s sports program play an important role in keeping her and her peers healthy, considering nationwide rates of girls’ participation in physical activity falls in their final years at school.
“As a senior student, it can be easy to forget about sport in pursuit of academic results but I think playing Badminton has given me an opportunity to create a more balanced and active lifestyle for myself. Friday afternoon training sessions are a great way to end the week!” she said.
“The new competition heightens the intensity of the sport and I think it will be a good chance for all the girls to work together with their teams and build, not just their badminton skills, but also other important qualities for success, like communication and teamwork skills.”