Five intellectual disability players from Lisburn 2gether Pan-Disability Badminton Club were off to compete in Glasgow last weekend.
They played in the Scottish Leg of the Four Nations Parabadminton Championships and brought home eight golds.
The squad hit the ground running on Friday night, with Ben Hayward and Abbie Fusco getting through the group stages to reach the Class Three Men’s Singles and Class Three Ladies Singles respectively.
Gary Bailie also made the semi-final of the Class Two Men’s Singles
Saturday saw players compete in the Doubles events where Gary and Adam Smyth lost narrowly against the other two pairs in their Class One Men’s Doubles group.
In the Class Three Men’s Doubles Ben Hayward joined up with Peter Sabine from Scotland and the pair progressed to the final, Ben’s second of the tournament. Not to be outdone by this, Abbie teamed up with her club mate Jackie Robins and the pair made their way to the final of the Class Two Ladies Doubles.
The third day of the competition, Sunday, started with Mixed Doubles. The day started well with Adam and Jackie making the Class Two final, while Abbie made it three finals by reaching the Class Three decider with James McNeill from Scotland.
After a short break, play resumed and Ben and Abbie both picked up gold medals in the Class Three Singles finals. Abbie and Jackie kept the ball rolling and collected another gold medal in the Class Two Ladies Doubles final, before Ben picked up his second medal with the Class Three Men’s Doubles title.
Finally the Mixed Doubles saw Adam and Jackie winning yet another gold medal in Class Two, while Abbie, with the help of her Scottish partner, made it six for six – and three out of three for her personally. In total the Club came away with eight gold medals in six events.
The club send thanks to all the parents who travelled to Glasgow, as well as Jim Burrell (Coach), who oversaw the trip and supported players on and off court over the weekend.
This success has added to good news the club received from Natural Hair Company (Lisburn), who have donated £1,100 to the club.
Terry Conroy from Lisburn 2gether said, “This is a great opportunity for the Club. This donation has allowed us to subside playing shirts for all our athletes and volunteers, and will go towards travelling to competitions, making these trips more affordable for the players and their families.”
The next Four Nations event is due to take place in England in June, but before then the Club have the end of the Ulster Badminton League on their minds as well as inter-club matches against other disability badminton clubs.