Havant Hornets buzzing after another triumphant youth tournament

Callum King. Picture: Mick Young (150642-03)
Callum King. Picture: Mick Young (150642-03)
Ricky Stevens and Ryan Charlwood. Picture: Tim Keeton/Impact Images

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Havant Hornets are once more on cloud nine after another stunning junior tournament.

The club welcomed 96 aspiring players from all over the south of England to Havant Leisure Centre on Sunday.

Now in its fourth year, the annual competition has become the most prestigious youth event in the south.

While county players fought for titles and trophies, the tournament doubled as a great introduction for beginners.

Hornets coach John Broomhead said: ‘It was a huge success again.

‘All the games were very, very tight and there was a fantastic atmosphere. It was absolutely amazing.

‘The place was buzzing with excitement and anticipation from the start.’

Callum King was among the Hornets to impress, just a few weeks after joining the club.

He won three of his six games, scoring 92 points out of a possible 126.

King’s father Adrian said: ‘Callum has so much enthusiasm to do well and is already showing some natural ability.

‘It is great to have a club like this for him to improve by learning and practising new skills all the time.’

Meanwhile, there was a special player-of-the-day award for eight-year-old Joshua Potterton.

The umpires and scorers were asked for their nominations and his sportmanship stood out.

Broomhead added: ‘He shook hands. He was a little gentleman.’

The event was sponsored by Specsavers of Havant, Rackets Plus, Southern Co-Operative and Goode Sports (Ashaway).

Former England international Nigel Tier, of Rackets Plus, looked on as the action unfolded.

The Badminton England performance centre head coach said: ‘This was an excellent event where many talented juniors from around the county battled it out throughout the day’s competition.

‘The tournament was very well organised and ran in a friendly but competitive atmosphere.

‘The number of entrants and enthusiasm of the players shows that badminton is a very popular sport.’

Tier also provided a racket stringing service which kept him busy throughout the tournament.

Broomhead paid tribute to Tier and all the other sponsors, while reserving special praise to the tireless work of fellow Hornets coach Maggie Phillips.

He said: ‘There is a huge amount organisation but the team is led by the seemingly inexhaustible driving force of Maggie, the club’s level two coach.

‘It is expensive and time consuming to organise and run a tournament of this size and we certainly could not afford to do so without our generous sponsors.

‘The aim is to promote the sport among the youngsters and we wouldn’t be able to do it without them.’

Visit havant-junior-badminton-club.com for more information on the Hornets.

And for more pictures from the tournament, don’t miss the Sports Mail on Saturday.

RESULTS: Girls singles, winners: Lucie Russell, Angelina Wong; runners-up: Mugdha Godbole, Amy Claydon. Boys singles, winners: Luke Salwey, Samuel Vince, Ben Holcombe, Tom Knapton, William Todd, Joes Dock, Phillip Lawrence; runners-up: Aaron Scott-Roberts, Ben Hammond, Michael Butcher, Lewis Grant, Harvey Xu, Nick O’Hea, Robert Glover. Boys doubles, winners: Aaron Scott-Roberts & Oliver Clow, Kristian Atutubo & Luke Salwey, Leon Pitman & Jack Hobbins, Harvey Xu & William Todd, Phillips Lawrence & Rob Glover, Lewis Grant & Alfie Ruston; runners-up: Oliver Ingram & Ben Harding, Jacob Shucksmith & Joel Francis, Dan Taylor & Dan Claydon, Joshua Potterton & Rafael Huele, Tom Knapton & Simon Raeyan, Josh Goldring & John Birch. Girls doubles, winners: Angelina Wong & Lucie Russell, Marcie Russell & Mugdha Godbole; runners-up: Phoebe Ward & Holly Hammond, Amy Claydon & Cherise Martin