Five intellectual disability players from Lisburn 2gether Pan-Disability Badminton Club travelled to Glasgow at the weekend to compete in the Scottish Leg of the 4 Nations Parabadminton Championships.
The squad hit the ground running on Friday night, with Ben Hayward and Abbie Fusco getting through the group stages to reach the Class 3 Men’s Singles and Class 3 Ladies Singles respectively. Gary Bailie also made the semi-final of the Class 2 Men’s Singles.
Saturday saw players compete in the Doubles events where Gary and Adam Smyth lost narrowly against the other two pairs in their Class 1 Men’s Doubles group. In the Class 3 Men’s Doubles Ben Hayward joined up with Peter Sabine from Scotland and the pair progressed to the final, Ben’s second of the tournament. Not to be outdone by this, Abbie teamed up with her club mate Jackie Robins and the pair made their way to the final of the Class 2 Ladies Doubles.
The third day of the competition, Sunday, started with Mixed Doubles. The day started well with Adam and Jackie making the Class 2 final, while Abbie made it 3 finals by reaching the Class 3 final with James McNeill from Scotland. After a short break play resumed, and Ben and Abbie both picked up gold medals in the Class 3 Singles finals. Abbie and Jackie kept the ball rolling and collected another gold medal in the Class 2 Ladies Doubles final, before Ben picked up his second medal of the competition with the Class 3 Men’s Doubles title. Finally the Mixed Doubles saw Adam and Jackie winning yet another gold medal in Class 2, while Abbie, with the help of her Scottish partner, made it six for six – and three out of three for her personally. In total the Club came away with 8 gold medals (6 events), after a lot of hard work and impressive performances over the weekend.
Thanks goes to all the parents who travelled with the athletes to Glasgow, as well as Jim Burrell (Coach), who oversaw the trip and supported players on and off court over the weekend.
This success has added to good news the club earlier this week from Natural Hair Company (Lisburn), who have donated £1,100 to the club. Terry Conroy from Lisburn 2gether said, “This is a great opportunity for the Club, this donation has allowed us to subside playing shirts for all our athletes and volunteers, and will go towards travelling to competitions over the next year, making these trips more affordable for the players and their families.”
The next 4 Nations event is due to take place in England in June, but before then the Club have the end of the Ulster Badminton League on their minds as well as inter-club matches against other disability badminton clubs.
Article by Terry Conroy (Lisburn 2gether Pan-Disability Badminton Club)