The fifth annual Beaufort Delta Education Council Regional Badminton Tournament took place at East Three Secondary School Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.
Tournament organizer Colin Pybus said this year’s tournament saw a strong showing from communities around the Beaufort Delta region.
“As always, the turnout for the tournament has been impressive, we’re really happy with the number of young athletes that have come out to participate,” said Pybus. “This year, we’ve actually had more athletes from the communities than from Inuvik. It’s always wonderful when the community schools are able to come and participate.”
Sixteen athletes from Tuktoyaktuk participated in the tournament as well as eight athletes from Paulatuk.
“If it wasn’t for a vehicle malfunction, we would have had some from Fort McPherson as well!” he said.
Jennifer Giffin, athlete and chauffeur for the Paulatuk students, said participating in the tournament was a great experience.
“We brought eight students from Angik School in Paulatuk, and they’ve really been loving it,” said Giffin. “Their parents paid most of the fees to get here, but it’s really been a community effort to get them here so thank you to everyone who made it possible.”
The tournament saw 48 total participants – 38 youth and 10 adults – in 12 total divisions.
Pybus said the tournament started as a way to provide an opportunity to compete in a individual or dual sport at a higher level.
“I started running the tournament five years ago when I saw that some of the more traditional team sports were very well covered in terms of tournaments – volleyball, basketball soccer – but there wasn’t really an individual or dual-style tournament that was being utilized in the region,” said Pybus. “Badminton is by far the easiest and most popular one. It’s been awesome, and we’ve been able to maintain the event for what it is over the years.”
Badminton NWT provides gifts, swag and prizes for the athletes, while the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs contributed to getting all the athletes to Inuvik.
“This acts as a warm-up tournament for the students from Inuvik who will be traveling next weekend to Hay River for the Scott McAdam Memorial Tournament,” said Pybus. “This is getting our four Inuvik athletes ready to go down to participate in that tournament.”