© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Peter Woo was brushing up on his badminton game Tuesday night at ARHS in preparation for the provincial championships this weekend at the Cobequid Education Centre in Truro. Woo will compete in the boys doubles with his brother Simon.
AMHERST - Amherst Regional High School has several players who qualified for the provincial championships this weekend in Truro, including Grade 12 players Peter Woo and Jennifer Cameron.
Both players started badminton in Grade 7 and will go on to university next year.
Both say they are looking forward to their last provincial championships.
"There's usually a lot of tension out there," said Woo. "You can really tell when another team is losing because they don't look very happy."
Cameron agrees that badminton players can be highly competitive.
"Last year somebody broke their racquet at regionals," she said. "They got mad and broke the racquet over their knee. They beat us at districts and then we beat them at regionals.”
Both players say they won't miss being smashed in the face by the badminton shuttle but will miss smashing others in the face.
"It feels good to smash them in the face, especially if the other team hit you in the face first," said Cameron.
Cameron said she started badminton in Grade seven because it looked like fun, and stuck with it after going on to compete at the Atlantic championships in Grade 8, where she and Amanda Reid finished second in the consolation round in ladies doubles.
Woo said he stuck with it because he likes the strategy and likes to strive for the perfect shot, which both players say is very hard to achieve.
"It's a tough game and takes a lot of hand-eye coordination, " said Woo.
Woo will study for a degree in science at next year at Dalhousie and Cameron will focus on getting an arts degree at Mount Allison. Dalhousie doesn’t have a badminton team but Mount Allison does.
“I’d like to play there,” said Cameron. “I want try to anyway.”
For now they are focused on the provincials, where Woo will play boys doubles with his brother Simon and Cameron will play mixed doubles with Joey O'Dell.
Both players are very grateful for the dedication of their coaches Ian and Cheryl Mackintosh.
"They've been really committed over the years, since Grade 7," said Woo. "They do an unbelievable amount of stuff for us."
"They were supposed to stop coaching when their son graduated from ARHS a few years ago but they stuck with it and have been with us every step of the way," said Cameron. "They've been great coaches."
Other ARHS players attending the tournament are Amanda Wheaton and Taylor Hicks who finished first in ladies doubles at regionals in Antigonish, and the Amherst's boys doubles team of Joey O'Dell and Matt Beal, who also finished in first place at the regionals.