Eden Christian Academy (ECA) had a successful badminton season this year with their D Grade teams placing first and second and their C Grade team placing second in the Counties Manakau Badminton competition. Every fortnight they played at the Counties Manakau Courts in Papakura, and many of the students had never played before.
Coach Pieter Jansen van Rensburg, said “Badminton’s really blown up at our school. We had one team last year in D Grade and they won so they moved up to C Grade this year. This year it’s snowballed and we had three teams! It was great to see them develop their skills They were playing against big schools with thousands of kids compared to our combined school roll of about 80 kids.”
A couple of the students went to Auckland Championships as well, which was a great experience for them. Pieter manages the trainings, while Sara-Jane Jansen van Rensburg does the management side of things. Pieter said after school trainings weren’t practical as kids live all over the area, so they gave up their lunchtimes to train. Sara-Jane said, “The dedication to the teams was awesome. We never had to forfeit any games!”
Badminton at ECA started three years ago, when the school started looking for small team sports to play. “Our school has low numbers meaning we can’t necessarily have big sports teams so badminton was a great option,” Sara-Jane said. “It’s been great to see the development and determination of the kids to improve their skills. The sports mentality has really changed at the school over time!”
The ECA teams in D Grade never played each other in the actual competition so the school held a special in-house competition so they could. Sara-Jean said “we have a really good relationship with the people at the Counties Manakau Badminton courts in Papakura. We’ve had a lot of support from them and one of their members is coming to ECA soon to teach new skills to all ages.”
ECA 1 (D-grade): Pooja Singh Banga, Nicole van Mil, Jade Trow and Phillip du Plessis.
ECA 2 (D-grade): Joseph Poh, Darion Benjamin, Cort Dixon, Jayden Scott, Liam Farrell, Pascal Gisler and Calem Scott.
ECA (C-grade): Sundeep Singh Banga, David Kim, Nick Gilder, Marnix Morris and Locky Dixon