Eagles seek net gains in Fort Mac
Badminton: Edison sending strong contingent of athletes to Alberta Winter Games
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2018 06:00 am
One of the top badminton powers in the province is ready to prove its medal.
The Edison School Eagles make up the entirety of the Zone 2 roster heading to the 2018 Alberta Winter Games this weekend and given the program’s track record that’s a very good thing.
“We’re fortunate enough to have all of our team from Edison,” said Edison head badminton coach and zone 2 skipper Lionel Chong. “Our group practices are four times per week, they’re pretty much here all the time practising. That’s all we do is practise badminton.
“The athletes representing this year are all quite strong, they all have a good chance for the medals. It depends on if it’s good or bad luck if they make mistakes or not.”
The competition is broken down into the team and individual event.
Each athlete competes individually and in the team event there are five events, which go towards a tabulation of points for each given zone.
“With the team event we have to win three of the five events,” Chong said. “The events being singles, doubles and mixed doubles. If we win three out of five we win that round and then there is the individual events where they compete for themselves and that’s up for grabs everybody.”
The strength of the area is such that Big Country (Zone 2) is loaning some of its athletes to Calgary’s Zone 3 for the event.
Okotoks’ Emiko Antal and Nicole Wieland will be competing for Zone 3 as will Kelly Lindsay with her three other siblings lining up across the net for Zone 2.
Eldest brother Jamie Lindsay, Grade 11, younger sister Leah and younger brother Ian complete the Lindsay quartet at the Games.
“It’s a celebration,” Leah said. “I think (our parents) are pretty proud of all of us to go. They’re going to fly up, at least our mom is.”
“She didn’t know you were supposed to buy tickets for the opening ceremony so she’s just going to watch it live,” Ian added with a laugh.
Ian Lindsay is set to compete with Edison teammate Emilia Hyland in mixed doubles.
“We did a tournament before in Edmonton,” Hyland said. “We don’t normally do mixed style we do regular doubles style so when he serves I can be in the back and when I serve he’s in the back so it’s a good rotation.”
Leah Lindsay and Adrianna Stog will form a strong doubles team for Zone 2.
“She’s gone to these before,” Leah said of her partner. “She knows what she’s doing, she’s a really good badminton player and she’s really funny. I don’t get mad at her and she doesn’t get mad at me.”
Grade 10 Connor Johanson is also continuing a family tradition.
“My older brother played in it a lot and he’s kind of who got me hooked in badminton,” Johanson said. “Now it’s really nice to go and follow his legacy.”
It’s a return trip for Edison’s Evonne Henning after representing Big Country in the pool in the summer version of the Alberta Games some two years ago.
“It means a lot considering I was one of the youngest people trying out and making the team and being able to represent Zone 2 like I did before,” she said. “It was a really good experience, team bonding and being able to race for swimming in individual events and representing the zone, that was pretty cool.”
For Xander Zwanepoel, 13, it’s a chance to show he can go toe-to-toe with athletes up to three years older than him.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I just want to show people that age doesn’t really matter, even if it’s older players that I’m playing.”
The 2018 Alberta Winter Games run Feb. 16-19 in Wood Buffalo.
For more information go to albertasport.ca