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West Norfolk Junior Badminton youngsters are honoured



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As with all sport, it is a very different ‘end of season’ report than usual for West Norfolk Junior Badminton.

There would normally be an end of season presentation and party at KES, where the award winners would receive their trophies in front of their team-mates and parents.

But despite the season being cut short, the committee have chosen the Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player.

Player of the Year Jacob Chalke. (34391900)
Player of the Year Jacob Chalke. (34391900)

Player of the Year was awarded to Jacob Chalke, who achieved excellent attendance figures, coupled with a consistent desire to improve.

Chalke has also impressed the coaches at county under-16 training and has even played at senior level in the local league.

Most Improved Player was awarded to Paige Roper, who achieved 100 per cent attendance last term.

Roper’s cheerful presence has always impressed and she has added significant improvement to her play at both club and county under-14 level, as well as winning a doubles title at a county tournament.

2020 West Norfolk Junior Badminton captain Jess Bateman. (34391902)
2020 West Norfolk Junior Badminton captain Jess Bateman. (34391902)

Jess Bateman has been appointed captain for the 2020/21 season with current captain Leo Fonzo leaving for university.

Bateman will lead the teams in matches and support the younger players at squads, tournaments, and events, and is also on the club committee as its junior representative.

Both are Level 1 coaches and have assisted lead coaches this season.

There were also special mentions for Frederic Lo for his outstanding attendance record of 76 out of 78 sessions in the last five seasons – the highest recorded in the 19 years – and to Max Smith who returned from a mid-season operation and continued to contribute with enthusiasm.

2019 captain Leo Fonzo. (34391904)
2019 captain Leo Fonzo. (34391904)

The committee thank squad manager Roger Cetti for all his numerous volunteer hours planning and organising WNJB sessions and activities, as he scales back his commitment next season.

He has built West Norfolk Juniors into a successful development squad, admired not only in Norfolk, but by Badminton England.

A double-header away match against the Lincoln development squad took place in February.

The annual West Norfolk Junior Championships, due to take place in April, will be rearranged when sport resumes.

The squad travelled to Milton Keynes in October for their annual training weekend at the National Badminton Centre, where they were coached by five-time English national singles champion Liz Cann, international doubles champion Greg Mairs and ex-junior national champion Lydia Powell.

Most improved player Paige Roper. (34391912)
Most improved player Paige Roper. (34391912)

Lydia Powell visited King’s Lynn in December to coach the West Norfolk squad and host an extra session for juniors from clubs across the borough.

The committee look forward to welcoming back the squad when it is allowed to resume. West Norfolk Juniors are sponsored by Russen and Turner, Property experts.



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