By Jon Perez
Raj Jayalalal of Sri Lanka in action in this file photo from a recent Northern Marianas Badminton Federation tournament. (Jacqueline Hernandez) Saipan Mayor Juan B. Tudela will be one of the special guests who will attend the opening rites of the inaugural Northern Marianas Badminton Federation Team Competition, which opens on Oct. 6 at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Tudela is one of the special guests the NMBF has invited for its Davis Cup-style tournament. Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association president Michael A. White will send a representative, while House Speaker Oscar Babauta has already confirmed his attendance.
Tudela said promoting a healthy lifestyle has been a priority of his administration. “For the past years, healthy living and physical activities have been a priority in our ways of life.”
Promoting a healthy lifestyle of living through physical activities and sports development is one of the NMBF's main objectives.
Tudela said a healthy lifestyle could be achieved through tournaments and outdoor activities such as the NMBF's league-type format competition. “With your new organization, one can also enjoy physical activities through [badminton].”
The NMBF is a two-year organization that also aims to develop badminton at the grassroots level and hopefully in the next five years send one or two local players as representatives to international competitions.
Tudela commended the NMBF for taking the lead in promoting an active and healthy lifestyle on Saipan. “As we strive forward to more challenges in our life, I would like to commend [the NMBF] in taking the extra step in ensuring that active lifestyles are paramount in our community.”
The seven-team tournament follows a round-robin type format and is expected to end on Nov. 17. The tournament format will have one team play four events of seven games in one day consisting of one men's singles, two games each in the men's and women's doubles, mixed doubles, and one open event.
It will be anything goes in the open event, where team captains can field their strongest players.
Each team in any of the seven games will accumulate wins with the squad that has the most wins declared champion. Cash prizes and trophies await the Top 3 finishers.
Shuttlers must have played a minimum of five games in any of the four events offered in the duration of the tournament. No player is allowed to play three games in one day.
Organizers of the tournament have already sought several companies for assistance in sponsoring a team or teams in the Saturday-only tournament.
Some of the companies and businesses that committed to sponsor a team or donate prizes are Pacific Telecom Inc., Traders Insurance, Labtech, Pure H20, Sun Palace, Admaran International, Salon de Manila, Tan Holdings, SaipanCell, and B&E Construction.
The entrance fee per team is $500 where $300 will be shouldered by a sponsor/s, while the remaining amount will be divided among the eight players of a team.
Early this year, the NMBF held the Inaugural Traders Insurance/PTI Cup Badminton Tournament with 27 pairs being honored in the month-long tournament.
The NMBF held its first tournament on Oct. 9, 2006 where close to 40 players joined the five-day competition.
For more information, call NMBF vice president Edwin Montoya at 288-1436, or email at NMBF@yahoogroups.com.
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By Jon Perez