Whanganui teams at the 36th Yonex Badminton New Zealand Junior Teams Championships fell short on wins, but drew long on learning and development.
Badminton Whanganui fielded under-13 and under-17 mixed teams at the competition run over four days in Palmerston North this week.
Coach and longtime stalwart of the game, Graham Feist said both teams were the wooden spooners of their respective age groups, but development was the aim of the exercise with victory only really a pipe dream.
"We were the smallest association at the competition population-wise and we were always going to be up against it," Feist said.
"For us it was all about player development and having fun and we were certainly winners in that regard."
The under-13 team was made up of two boys and two girls, while the under-17s included four boys and four girls.
"The under-13 team played seven teams over the four days, while the under-17s played six teams. Both played singles, doubles and mixed doubles. None of our players won a tie, but they all came off court smiling."
Feist, a former national president and life member, was there at the beginning of this competition 35 years ago when it started as North Island tournament.
"I was tournament controller from the start. A few years back it was changed from a North Island championship to a national tournament, but I have pretty much retired from active duty. However, I have a grand daughter in each of the Whanganui teams, so that's keeping me in the sport at the moment," Feist said.