THE Yat Sen Secondary School girls team maintained their champion record for the sixth consecutive year yesterday when their new look badminton team held off a strong challenge from Natabua High School.
Carline Bentley and Geraldine Chung were the toast of the Yat Sen Team, winning both their singles matches in close three-game tie and then clinching the girls team event with a good doubles win against a strong Natabua combination of Lin Y and Hilda Reshmi.
Yat Sen won the title 3-2.
The Yat Sen A boys team, however, were not so lucky and had the daunting task of coming up against the defending champs, Natabua High School.
Natabua High School made a clean sweep of the match, beating Yat Sen A 5-0 to take out the 2008 JR White Secondary Schools Boys Team Event for the third consecutive year.
Leading the charge for Natabua High School were trialists for the Fiji team to Pune, Devarisi Sharma and Steven Wong.
Hilda Reshmi , of Natabua High School, was named the Upcoming girl of the tournament while Shelton Hazelman of Yat Sen took the Upcoming honour for the boys.
On hand to present prizes was Chris Yee, general Team manager of Team Fiji to the Commonwealth Youth Games, being held in Pune, India in October this year.
All winners in the 2008 JR White Secondary Schools Championship were awarded sporting equipment vouchers courtesy of J R White and Co Ltd.
Each participating school received Yonex badminton equipment provided by Badminton Oceania for use in developing badminton in their schools.
Yee took the opportunity to thank the players for supporting Fiji Badminton and encouraged them to set their sights towards several up coming opportunities to represent their country at international level.
These included the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and the first ever Olympic Youth Games to be held in Singapore also in 2010.
With Badminton almost certainly to be on the programme for the 2011 Pacific Games in Noumea, the Fiji Badminton Association will be banking on these young players to fill the shoes of many senior players who are no longer available.
In closing the 2008 JR White Secondary Schools Championship, the Tournament Controller, Roneel Lal, acknowledged the support of JR White & Co Ltd, major sponsor of this event for the last 8 years and this year celebrating its nine-year partnership with the Fiji Badminton Association.
Junior badminton players now look forward to the August School Holiday Coaching Academy which will be held at the Yat Sen Hall, starting from Monday 25 August and ending with a finale competition from 28 - 30 August, 2008.