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Badminton fun tourney starts today

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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BADMINTON, FUN AND SUN.  Sixty players from across the world will join 20 Barbadians for the staging of the Barbados Fun Open Badminton Festival which gets underway from 10 a.m. today at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium.The three-day tournament is part of a week-long trip to Barbados combining island tours, dinner and a gala for the players from England, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada and the United States.The tournament is an international open fun event, organised by badminton lovers for badminton lovers who will be grouped according to level of ability.  Event organiser Mark Phillips said: “I have played badminton for various clubs over the years and travelled to several tournaments in and around Europe. I wanted to take all the good points from each tournament I have been to and create a fun event in my home town of Barbados.” Group formatPhillips said it was important to bring out the fun element, and instead of ranking players, it would take a group format.“We will have a group of eight to ten players playing a group of eight to ten players at all levels. It doesn’t matter what level you are at. We are making it a fun tournament, not a serious tournament and I want people to know about badminton.”Among the visitors is renowned Olympian Donna Kellogg who represented England at both the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. The multiple European and three-time Commonwealth champion will be providing professional advice to players.She will also be hosting an exhibition tournament for primary and secondary school children and campers from the recently held National Sports Council Camp on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Osteopath Graham Ackerman, who is part of the Barbados In The Caribbean Team, will provide health advice and treatment.Badminton in Barbados has secured backing from the Barbados Tourism Authority, the Barbados Badminton Association, and is being promoted by Badminton England and various local sponsors. (PR/SAT)