THERE was a real buzz around Havant Leisure Centre at the weekend as the Hornets Junior Badminton Club hosted their popular open tournament.
A host of kids from around Hampshire, plus the Isle of Wight and Reading, descended on the venue in a bid to be crowned 2013 winners.
And such was the pulling power of the event, organisers had to close the entry list early in a bid to cope with the enormous numbers.
A total of 98 of the south coast’s finest players, aged seven to 16 years old, registered to compete – with 94 actually participating on an action-packed day.
That guaranteed a competition of top-quality drama and a host of newly-crowned champions who will no doubt be badminton stars of the future and ones to look out for as they progress in the game.
The host club failed to pick up any gold medals on the day. Although, there were runners-up places for Jason Manchip and Jamie Gray, Tom Evans and Ben Small, and Josh Green and Aaron Scott-Roberts.
Their near misses could not spoil the Hornets’ delight at staging such a respected tournament and watching other clubs throughout the Portsmouth area celebrating success.
Among those claiming wins were children from Notorious, in Gosport, Southsea’s Shot Choice, Cosham-based Highbury MacKenzie and Fareham’s Henry Cort.
Notorious and Shot Choice claimed victories in the boys’ singles competition, with Alex Jackson and Stephan Annals winning their respective age-group categories.
Meanwhile, Highbury’s Dannielle Todd lifted one of the girls’ singles awards.
She claimed age-group success with a win over Henry Cort’s Jess Beach – who went on to lift a doubles crown alongside Fleet Falcons’ Hannah Grant.
Beach’s silver medal was replicated by Shot Choice’s Joseph Stretton (boys’ singles), and Shaman Stocker and Abi Allen (Notorious) after they contested one of the girls’ doubles finals.
Annals then teamed up with Shot Choice team-mate Billy Eckworth to claim a second-placed finish in a boys’ double final, too.
In total, 16 new champions were crowned on the day.
Hornets secretary, Maggie Phillips, said it was a day enjoyed by everyone involved.
‘We had some very successful feedback from those there on the day,’ she said.
‘We had six courts in play, with two courts with 100 chairs around them for all the grandparents and parents.
‘That made for a great atmosphere.’