National silver for Academy badminton kids

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A Retford school has battled to silver in the Center Parcs National Schools Badminton Championships, one of the largest schools tournaments in Europe.

Elizabethan Academy were in action at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, where eight schools from across the country competed in a round robin format.

The local youngsters battled valiantly but couldn’t quite do enough in the final round to clinch the title in the years 10 and 11 boys category.

The team, made up of Eddie Thorpe, Matthew Curtis, Bailey Hurt, Robbie Collingburn and Callum Lister, came through three rounds of local, county and regional on court competition, with over 31,000 children taking part, to reach the finals weekend.

The Center Parcs National Schools Badminton Championships silver medals were awarded by Commonwealth silver badminton medallist Anthony Clark, current reigning English National Champion Sarah Walker and 2013 European Championships bronze medallist Andy Ellis who had been at Center Parcs throughout the day watching the action and supporting the schools.

Elizabethan’s Thorpe described the experience: “We are obviously disappointed that we didn’t quite do enough to win the title.”

“It was a great atmosphere and we’ve all really enjoyed the experience but we would have loved to have won it together now that some of us are too old for the age group.”

“I hope that the school can do us proud next year!”

Jo Barnes, team manager for the squad heaped praise on the students.

“I am really very proud of the boys ,” she said.

“It’s our fifth year here in a row and their fourth silver on top of their gold from 2012.”

“They’ve worked very hard over the five years and done themselves and the school proud.”

The Center Parcs National Schools Badminton Championships is one of the largest school badminton tournaments in Europe.

This year, record breaking entries have seen 6,140 school badminton teams from over 1,600 secondary schools get on-court to take part in four rounds of action – a 35 per cent increase in participation levels from previous years.

Entry for the 2014/15 season is due to open shortly – with free entry for all schools.

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