Port Alberni badminton athletes Amber Santarelli

Port Alberni badminton athletes Amber Santarelli

Alberni badminton players head to BC Winter Games

Five badminton players from Alberni have qualified for the Zone 6 regional team competing at the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission next month

Five badminton players from Port Alberni—four team members and one alternate—have qualified for the Zone 6 regional team that will compete at the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission next month.

Declan Lenihan and Carson Rhodes have been named to the boys’ team and Amy Barker and Kim Norn to the girls’ team. Amber Santarelli is an alternate for the girls’ team.

The athletes earned their way to the games at a recent regional playoff in Nanaimo. They practice regularly at the Alberni Athletic Hall with coach Larry Spencer, both at the junior badminton club  time as well as the adult session.

Linda Rhodes, whose son Carson made the team, said this is one of the strongest showings ever for Port Alberni at the Winter Games badminton event. Carson’s older brother, Spencer, competed for Port Alberni two years ago but this is Carson’s first time qualifying—and the same goes for the other players, Rhodes said.

The boys’ and girls’ team comprise eight players each. The others who made the team are from Nanaimo and Victoria.

More than 1,800 participants have already registered to take part in the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games, which kick off Feb. 20.

Volunteers in Mission have been preparing for the past 18 months to host their first-ever BC Games.

editor@albernivalleynews.com