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Monday December 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday December 30, 2013 MYT 11:38:23 AM
by c.y. leephotos by azlina abdullah
Age is no limit: Members of the Woon Badminton Team with their medals at the Pattaya Badminton Sawasdee Cup 2013 championships.
FOR senior players of the Woon Badminton Team, taking part in competitions at their age is testament to their love for the game and their will to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
After returning home with two silvers and seven bronze medals from Thailand’s MMOA Pattaya Badminton Sawasdee Cup 2013, the team has begun gearing up for next year’s 98th All-England Seniors Badminton Championships.
While their most recent endeavour saw 11 players, between the ages 45 and 70, travel to Thailand, next year’s competition in England will see fewer players participating.
Each player will need to fork out about RM10,000 of their own money to take part in the championships to take place in Hatfield, Hertforshire, from April 11 to 13.
While it is financially feasible for some of the seniors, those who are retirees with no source of income must rely on their children to sponsor their trip, said 64-year-old team leader Woon Tong Yeong.
Apart from the financial hurdles and the difficulties of getting around in a foreign land, making travel and lodging arrangements with the tournament’s organisers can be quite daunting, especially for the inexperienced.
“Some of the previous participants would never have entered if they had to go through the process on their own,” said Woon, who is participating in the championship for the fourth time.
“Travelling abroad as a team makes it much easier for some of us seniors, especially for those who have not been overseas much” added 74-year-old Lam Ching.
Together with John Ho, 72, Tan Chin Fal, 74 and Tan Wak Kiaw, 60, the five of them have confirmed their places in the doubles category under the Woon Badminton Sports Team banner in 2014, while a few more have yet to confirm their participation.
To maintain form and fitness levels, they train three times a week and even take part in sparring matches with the younger players to keep their skills up to date.
While these men take the competitions and preparation seriously, they do not forget to have fun.
Asked about their chances in next year’s tournament, Woon said he was confident but would remain cautious of the European players.
“We are expecting some tough competition from the Europeans as they have always been strong rivals,” he said.
Pattaya Badminton Sawasdee Cup
Chan Teng Swee (45-49 men’s singles)
Chan Teng Swee & Siew Yoke Kee (45-49 men’s doubles) — Silver
Woon Tong Yeong & Johnny Lee (combined 120 category men’s doubles) — Bronze
Junior Lauw of Canada & Ng Young Fatt of Singapore (70-74 men’s singles) — Bronze
Wee Kee Hong & Tay Say Loon
(45-49 men’s singles) — Bronze
Woon Tong Yeong & Anchlee Ubolsiri (Thailand) (combined 110 category mixed
doubles) — Bronze
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Sport, Community, Central Region, Badminton, Senior, All england Senior
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