With the Christmas festivities now over for another year all Kerry Badminton enthusiasts are geared up for what is undoubtedly the business end of the season.
The pre Christmas programme is generally dominated by tournaments and other minor events, but once the cold chill of January hits the air the serious side of the Kerry and National Badminton programme roars into full flight and will go right up to the time when the Buds of May start blooming again.
This coming week is indeed a busy one on the Kerry front. This Wednesday night Jan. 11th will see the finals of the division 3 and 4 ladies and mens leagues which commenced last October and will take place in the Tralee Presentation Gym to commence at 8 pm..
Both ladies finals are sponsored by Agri Auto Parts, Tralee and Listowel, whilst both mens deciders are sponsored by Speedy’s Bar, Moyvane.
Indeed, the Kerry Badminton Association and all clubs affiliated to Kerry wish to pay tribute to both companies for their continued sponsorship of these competitions.
In the division 3 ladies final Moyvane will be going for 3 in a row as they do battle with Killarney whilst in the div. 3 mens decider Castleisland’s Kingdom Club will take on Killarney.
Both the division 4 finals will see two more clubs seeking the glory of 3 in a row title wins. In the ladies final, champions Ballyheigue are opposed by Moyvane whilst the div.4 mens decider which is a repeat of last seasons show down will see champions Moyvane once again being opposed by the West Kerry Club Annascaul.
If last seasons deciders are anything to go by, the Presentation Gym is the place to be on Wed. night.
The Kerry Schools finals will take place in the Killarney Sports Centre this Thursday, January 12th, and are set to commence at 11 am.
Due to the Christmas holidays the number of participating schools for this year was not available when these notes were being compiled but if it is anything like last season, it certainly is going to be a mammoth days badminton.
On that day last January no less than 27 teams competed in the 3 age groups assigned; .under 14-16 and 19, with 13 girls teams and 14 teams of boys , with 4 players on each team, and there was overall 12 schools represented on the day.
And that was not the end of the story..
One of the under 14 boys team,Tralee C.B.S.,The Green, not alone won Kerry on the day but also went on to win both Munster and All Ireland glory and this feat was one of the highlights of the Kerry Badminton season last year.
Hopefully such an achievement can be replicated over the weeks ahead.
The Listowel Club will be the main focus of Badminton this coming weekend when the local club will host their annual tournaments over the Saturday and Sunday.
The Saturday programme which is also open to players from outside the County, will cater for division 1 &2 players over 3 separate competitions which comprises of ladies and mens doubles and mixed doubles.
Indeed this is the 46th annual holding of this mixed doubles event which over the years has seen winners from all 4 Provinces as well as from Scotland and is the longest running club tournament in Ireland.
The fourth event on the Saturday is the Masters competition which caters for those who are 45 years or over. Saturday will commence with the ladies and mens doubles competitions at 10.30 am.
The Sunday programme caters for Kerry divisions 3,4 and 5 and these divisions are generally very well supported from all corners of the County. Division 5 will commence at 11.45 am; Division 4 at 2.30 pm and division 3 at 4.30 pm.
The Listowel Club wish to announce a new innovation that they will hold over both days. This is what they will call.SOS, a Serve Our Shuttle competition and this will be open to all attending, non players as well as players, even the non badminton fraternity are invited to try their luck. Come along and see what it is all about.
The serious side of the Badminton season will well and truly commence in Killarney on Sunday January 22nd where the Munster Senior 1 and the Munster Junior Badminton Championships will take place.
Entry forms are now with club secretaries. A reminder to all Kerry players, the CPC.IE sponsored Kerry Badminton County Championships are only just a few weeks away.
These are the ladies and mens singles County Championships for divisions 1,3 and 5. To all singles hopefuls, Christmas is over, start training and be fit and raring to go for the last Sunday of January.