COMPETITORS in the third North Tyneside Adult Social Badminton Tournament got quite a surprise when a visitor from Star Wars walked onto the court.
It took four men to give Darth Vader a hard game.
Apart from the surprise guest player, 59 other men and women took part in the tournament, staged at The Parks Sports Centre in North Shields, and organised jointly by Tyneside Sharks Badminton Club and North Tyneside Badminton Partnership. No league or County players were allowed to enter the tournament, whose aim was to give casual players the chance to compete against others in a friendly atmosphere. The atmosphere was indeed friendly and social, but with everyone still keen to win one of the prizes on offer.
There was a huge age range amongst the players, who competed in women’s and men’s doubles and mixed doubles events. Volunteers from clubs in the Badminton Partnership together with North Tyneside Sports Development staff, scored all games and ensured that the players were on the right courts at the right time.
Northumberland’s top female player, Sarah Renton, who lives and works in North Tyneside, watched most of the games, and was on hand to present prizes to the winners and runners-up in the women’s and men’s doubles. Sarah commented: “I was most impressed to see so many casual and non-league players taking part in the tournament and thoroughly enjoying their games. The atmosphere was great, friendly yet competitive. I really enjoyed watching.”
Councillor George Westwater, cabinet Member on North Tyneside Council responsible for community and regulatory services, was also on hand to present prizes to the winners and runners-up in the mixed doubles, and was equally impressed.
An additional prize of a complimentary one to one coaching session with North Tyneside’s 2012 Coach of the Year Mike Woodward, was awarded to Amy Jackson, who demonstrated huge tenacity and enthusiasm in the women’s doubles event, partnering her mum Joanne.
The most frequently asked question directed at the tournament organisers, Norma and Mike Waterfield and Lynn Carr-Woodward, was “When is the next tournament.”
Women’s doubles winners: Alison Jones and Sarah Lewis. Runners-up: Angie Paterson and Wei Chin.
Men’s doubles winners: A Wazed and Redwan Ahmed. Runners-up: Saifal Sazali and Anqi Yu.
Mixed doubles winners: Saifal Sazali and Jenni Chung. Runners-up: Mike Turton and Ann Renwick.