Speed Badminton: New racket sport catches on fast

By Cameron Leslie

Students at Tikipunga High School are getting the opportunity to experience New Zealand's newest sport, Speed Badminton, with an exciting incentive - the possibility of representing their country at the world champs in Berlin next year.

Launched in New Zealand earlier this year, Speed Badminton - otherwise known as Speedminton - is a next generation racket sport which combines the best elements of tennis, squash and badminton.

Tikipunga High School teacher Andrea Cameron is enthusiastic about the new sport.

"We think Speed Badminton is an exciting addition to our curriculum. We have been impressed by how quickly students have picked it up regardless of their level of experience with other racket sports, and they have a lot of fun playing it," Cameron said.

"It's something you can achieve success with quite quickly. You also have a positive transition of skills from others sports like badminton and tennis - and it's nice to be outside on a sunny day."

Speedminton is a version of badminton that uses specially modified equipment and requires no nets.

Using elements of tennis, squash and badminton Players rally up and down a marked strip of ground, and can hit the speeder - a modified shuttlecock - at speeds of up to 290km/h.

New Zealand's Speedminton promotions manager Simon Rutherford said the ability to lay out a playing area anywhere, whether at the beach, park or playground, gave the sport appeal.

Badminton New Zealand chief executive Nicki Martin is endorsing the new sport, with the organisation committed to playing a major role in introducing Speed Badminton into clubs and schools across the country.

"We'll be putting together a team to represent New Zealand at the 2013 Speedminton World Champs in Berlin, and it'd be great to see people from Northland in that team," Martin said.

- Northern Advocate

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