There was Dutch delight for local sisters Rachael and Rebecca Woods when they enjoyed success at the Carlton Youth International Tournament in the Netherlands.
Alpha Badminton Club has been justifiably proud of how its members have reached the pinnacle of their sporting careers dominating the badminton scene at home and abroad but this past week a new page of its history was written.
Rachael Woods lifted the Under 15 mixed doubles title in the prestigious Carlton Youth International Tournament and for good measure her twin sister Rebecca came of age by reaching the semi-final of the women’s singles from an original entry of 89.
Rachael, whose season had been interrupted by an absence of a month through injury, had already captured the attention of coaches both in Ireland and on the mainland after winning a coveted gold star singles title, and was typically delighted to have been seeded No 5/8 in such a competition.
Having eased through the opening match in the Under 15 mixed doubles, Rachael and her partner, England’s Will Jones, then took on sterner tests on their way to the final.
There was never going to be very much between the two pairs in the final but Will and Rachael were never going to spoil the show having come this far and saw out a 21-15 21-18 victory over Lukasz Cimonosz and Karolina Szubert.
Meanwhile, the twins helped their team win the Under 15 team title in Holland.
The aptly named NIENG side won the Under 15 Team title with Rachael and Rebecca playing significant roles.
Rebecca teamed up with Kyle Magee in the mixed doubles against Switzerland, winning 30-28 while Will Jones partnered Rebecca in the two mixed doubles matches against BA Amersfoort and the top German side winning 30-20 and 30-25 respectively.
Rachael on the other hand lost her opening singles against the strong Switzerland side’s Milena Schnider 30-28 but was outstanding against Nienke Kwakkenbos (30-18) and Germany’s Sarah Bergedick (30-19).
The girls have many ambitions for the year ahead. Speaking about what’s next, Rachael commented: “I would like to make The Irish U15 Quadrangular Team to play in May this year, I would also like to make the Irish U17 European Team to travel to Poland for the European Championships in March.”
Rachael added: “This year I would really love to travel to another U15 European Tournament or English Gold Star event.”
Rebecca has similar plans for the year ahead. She stated: “I would also really love to travel to another U15 European Tournament or English Gold Star event.”
Rachael and Rebecca would like to acknowledge the support of The Mary Peters Trust and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.