Summer Smash! Badminton Championship taking place at Pottstown Middle School – The Mercury

This is the time of year when lawn games start coming out for the duration of the summer – a time that offers more opportunities to get physical activity outdoors. Badminton is one game that takes little time to set up and all ages can get in on the fun.

This weekend, there will be a more competitive opportunity for middle school and high school children to play beyond the backyard. The Badminton Championship, taking place at Pottstown Middle School, will be co-hosted by Smashville USA, the badminton club in Pottstown, and the Pennsylvania Badminton Association.

Entry to play is free and registration is open to middle school and high school children from any school, as well as homeschooled children.

Players participate in a badminton tournament match at Smashville in Pottstown. (Michilea Patterson – For MediaNews Group)

“We are hoping to get school kids that have an interest or liking and give them a taste of competition and get further into the sport and more training to move into the next level,” said Eric Miller, founder and director of Smashville USA.

Smashville USA in Pottstown has been introducing children to the sport for years thanks to a grant from the US Badminton Education Foundation. Up to 1,000 children have already had the opportunity to play through their instruction and Smashville is continuing to expand its program by getting into more schools, which will expand the racquet sport to even more children.

Players participate in a badminton tournament match at Smashville in Pottstown.  (Michilea Patterson - For MediaNews Group)
Players participate in a badminton tournament match at Smashville in Pottstown. (Michilea Patterson – For MediaNews Group)

“For the last four or five years we have been coming into Pottstown High School to teach badminton in the physical education classes,” Miller said. “We also go to Pine Forge Academy in Pottstown and Haverford Middle School on the Main Line.”

At the upcoming tournament, Miller is hoping for a large attendance of players given the wide net they cast through inviting schools beyond Pottstown including those in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Spectators are welcome to attend and watch the matches from the bleachers.

Winners of the singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches will receive prizes.

Players participate in a Pottstown Badminton Rumble at Smashville.  (Michilea Patterson - For MediaNews Group)

Michilea Patterson – Digital First Media

Players participate in a Pottstown Badminton Rumble at Smashville. (Michilea Patterson – For MediaNews Group)

“We’ll have trophies, mugs and we might have some racquets for the singles winners and we may have some various small prizes like key chains and badminton books,” he said.

Justin Baker, director of co-curricular activities at Pottstown High School, has also been helping to spread the word about the tournament where spectators are welcome to attend and watch the matches from the bleachers.

“We are trying to generate more buzz for the sport and their program,” Baker said. “It’s a tournament to culminate the school year and incorporate all of the schools that were involved in their program.”

A doubles team competes in a badminton tournament at Smashville.  (Michilea Patterson - For MediaNews Group)
A doubles team competes in a badminton tournament at Smashville. (Michilea Patterson – For MediaNews Group)

Baker said Smashville’s instruction within their PE curriculum has been well-received.

“It seems the kids enjoyed it and I got good feedback from the teachers,” he said.

Baker said the sport has offered something new to many kids who might not have already been exposed to badminton.

Sandeep Karnati gets ready to hit the birdie during a badminton tournament at Smashville in Pottstown.  (Michilea Patterson - For MediaNews Group)
Sandeep Karnati gets ready to hit the birdie during a badminton tournament at Smashville in Pottstown. (Michilea Patterson – For MediaNews Group)

“Anytime you can provide more of a variety to your students, I think that’s very beneficial,” he said. “Something new can also be intriguing for a student and they might not even know if they like it if they never tried it out in the first place.”

Badminton Championship

A chance to compete for fun and prizes!

Co-hosted by Smashville USA and the Pennsylvania Badminton Association

Saturday, May 21, 10 am to 3 pm (approximate end time)

Pottstown Middle School, 600 N. Franklin Street, Pottstown

Free entry for players (anyone in middle school or high school) and spectators

For more information: TD@smashville.us

About Smashville USA

Smashville USA in Pottstown is a member-run badminton facility. They offer free instruction to children on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Advance reservation required.

To learn more visit: www.smashville.us or email: coaching@smashville.us

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