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“CNMI’s passion for badminton amazing”

Oceania Badminton Confederation regional development manager Tony Mordaunt's 11-day visit on Saipan made him discover the island's passion for the sport which he believed is crucial in the development of badminton in the CNMI.

“I've been to many Pacific Island nations, but I've never seen passion as keen as what NMBF members have shown in my more than one week of stay here,” Mordaunt said during the Northern Marianas Badminton Federation's farewell part for him at Jerry Tan's residence on Navy Hill.

“They are very enthusiastic to learn the sports and the coaches who attended the course were committed to learn,” he added.

Mordaunt conducted an introductory coaching course at the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium last week with 12 NMBF members making the grade.
The list include NMBF president Marconi Calindas, Lito Mendoza, Gigi Zapanta, Hapi Gabriel, Shirley Kim, Macoi Aguda, Ingrid Sanchez, Babes Cielo, Emily Vargas, Merlie Sabillano, Edwin Montoya, and Juliet Ramos.

Mordaunt said the enthusiasm and passion that NMBF members and coaches are showing are big factors in ensuring the growth of the sport in the Commonwealth.

“If these coaches will continue to show interest in promoting the sport by going to schools and teaching students and interested coaches, I would not be surprised to see many people involved in the sports when I return here,” said Mordaunt, who hopes NMBF members learned a thing or two from him and share these to others.

“I hope I was able to improve their playing skills and in return they will be able to teach these skills to other players, especially the young ones,” said Mordaunt, who is now in Palau to conduct similar clinics.

Calindas on behalf of NMBF thanked Mordaunt for sharing his time and expertise to the CNMI players and coaches and assured the OBC official that the association will do its best to promote the sport in the Commonwealth.

“The things we learned from him will not be put into waste, as we will go to schools to share these things to students and coaches/teachers,” Calindas said.

He added they will be coordinating with Public School System officials to arrange for coaching and players' clinics and by 2009, Calindas said they are hoping to hold an interscholastic tournament.

Meanwhile, Calindas thanked Tan for hosting Mordaunt's party and donating shuttlecocks.

Tan said he will continue to support NMBF and other sports associations in any way he can, as getting involved with various sports is his passion.

“Badminton, tennis, swimming, soccer, bowling, or any sport, as long as we see more people getting involved with sporting events, we will always be here to extend a helping hand,” Tan said.

(Saipan Tribune)

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