World Champion to star in Lisburn

Niall McVeigh.
Niall McVeigh.

World Champion Niall McVeigh is set to star in Lisburn this weekend.

The National Badminton Centre in Lisburn is the place to be on Saturday as the venue plays hosts to the 4 Nations Irish Para Badminton Championships.

Niall McVeigh has put his mark on the sport since being introduced to badminton at the tender age of 7 by his father Eugene and lifting the prestigious 2009 doubles title in the World Dwarf Championships in Dortmund.

Niall was obviously disappointed in not bringing home silverware from September’s World Championships in Stoke Mandeville but throughout his short career at the top of world para badminton, he has consistently bounced back to show his best form and so this weekend’s competition is the perfect opportunity for McVeigh to thrill the home supporters.

Just after mid-day on Saturday Niall is due on court in the opening match of the Dwarf Short Stature Class 6 Mens Singles facing Dylan Beaumont and he will conclude his Group A round robin series against his colleague in the Irish squad Andrew Moorcroft.

A host of top stars will be in action at the event.

Niall will also be teaming up with his old colleague Luke Irvine in the Standing Combined Doubles and they will undoubtedly face quite a struggle in their opening group stage match against Owen Casey and Sean O’Sullivan before a clash with Colin Leslie and David Purdie.

Despite being very focussed on the job in hand, Niall is nevertheless a real crowd pleaser, diving around the court to retrieve shots which most mortals would simply accept as lost causes.

Also worth a watch will be Emma Farnham, who won bronze in the recent World Championships in the womens doubles SS6class. She will be opening her challenge in Group B of the Dwarf Singles against Bobby Laing – who partnered Andrew Moorcroft to bronze in the mens doubles at the World Championships in Stoke Mandeville – and then faces her Irish colleague Luke Irvine.

In the Standing Combined Doubles she teams up with Deirdre Nagle and they will have a tough opener against Bobby Laing and Andrew Moorcroft before Stephen Halpin and Niall Jarvie provide the opposition.

The Standing Mixed Doubles will see Emma and Andrew in action and they would expect to get through their opener against Bobby Griffin and Zoe Jefferson, though Colin Leslie and Nicola Tustain will undoubtedly provide a sterner test.

Laura-Lee Jenkins will be keen to return to the winners podium this weekend with Chris Stewart and Michael Smith providing the opposition in her opening two matches in the Wheelchair Combined Singles while she will also be teaming up with Chris Stewart and Fiona Christie in the Wheelchair Mixed Doubles and Combined Doubles respectively.

Niall Jarvie has become something of an adopted Irishman of late training at the Lisburn Racquets Club and playing for Alpha and he will have his work cut out against a number of his Scottish colleagues with Rory McLaren, Colin Leslie and Daniel Bethell being his first opponents in the Standing SL3 class before partnering Stephen Halpin in the Combined Doubles.