South West Counties Championships 11th/ 12th June 2022.
Last weekend a small contingent of NWBP players left Wiltshire for sunny Devon to play in the annual South West Counties Championships. Held at Torbay Leisure Centre the championships comprised of U12/13 and U16/17 held on the Saturday and U14/15 and U18/19 on the Sunday.
In the U12/13 event Benedict Vaughan played both the boys singles and doubles, relatively new to the tournament circuit. Benedict played tremendously well and impressed everyone with his tenacity and skill. Benedict finished 3rd in his group for the boy’s singles and was 4th in the boys doubles, this is an amazing result especially considering the doubles partnership was their first outing.
In the girls U12/13 event Imogen Drew showed her calibre yet again winning gold in the girl’s doubles with her long term partner Zinnia Bromell- James (Devon), they dominated the small group and won convincingly. Imogen also won silver in the girl’s singles event losing out to a very talented Guernsey player.
Danann Butler-Roche, choosing only to compete in the girl’s doubles event while she recovers from an injury, picked up a superb gold medal with new partner Sharlene Careng from Avon. The new paring played very well together and intend to play more tournaments in the future.
The following day saw the U14/15 and U18/19 events and both Imogen and Danann decided to play up into a higher age group; it was also the inaugural tournament for Joe Thomas.
The day started very well with Imogen winning 3 out of her 4 U14/15 singles matches and coming second in her group, just losing out to the eventual winner 21-18 but securing a well-deserved bronze medal. She added to her medal haul for the weekend by securing a silver medal in the U14/15 girl’s doubles, again with Zinnia, they should be very proud of their performance over the weekend.
Joe Thomas, who has been playing for less than a year, was hugely impressive in his events. In the U14/15 boys singles he came 3rd in his group and despite playing against others with far more experience was resilient and showed a level of maturity beyond his years. Playing the doubles with a new partner, they gelled immediately, and put up some very impressive scores against established pairings. Joe should be congratulated on this excellent first performance.
Lastly, Danann, playing again with Sharlene took the gold medal in the U18/19 girls doubles event. Winning medals in your own age group is difficult enough but winning a gold in the next age group up is an excellent achievement. Well done girls!
Many thanks to the organisers, SWCBA, and of course to our head coach at NWBP Melanie Vickery who has coached and guided these children to enable them to perform and be successful at this level of competition.