It was a short but sweet badminton season at the Rimbey Junior/Senior High School. With practices beginning after the Spring Break, it wasn’t long until the Area Playdowns were held in Ponoka and Lacombe, on April 16 and 17 where teams needed to finish first or second to advance to zones.
The area includes 12 competing schools from the Wolf Creek and Wild Rose School Divisions. The Senior Boys Doubles team of Rylan Spelrem and Jamin Sargeant finished first, the Junior Boys Doubles team of Aaron Shukin and Brady Poulsen came in second, Conrad Duckett finished first in Intermediate Boys Singles, and Jackie Shukin finished second in Intermediate Girls Singles.
Next up for these players was the Central Zone Championship in Stettler on April 26. On this day, Aaron Shukin and Brady Poulsen took home a silver medal; Conrad Duckett brought home a bronze, while Jackie Shukin went through undefeated to win gold. It was a great showing by the Rimbey team, but unfortunately only Jackie advanced to provincials.
On May 2 and 3, the Alberta Provincial Badminton Championship was held in Cochrane. Jackie Shukin won all three of her matches in her pool and advanced to the playoff round. She easily won her semi-final match two games straight to advance to the gold medal match.
After winning her first game 21 -16 and losing her second game 16 – 21, the gold medal came down to one game in the best of three final. Trailing most of the game, Jackie rallied from a five-point deficit to win a dramatic 21-19 contest.
“There were a lot of club players there from Edmonton and Calgary that were pretty intense. It’s definitely the toughest competition I’ve ever played against,” Shukin said of the tournament. “The final was definitely the hardest game. We went to three sets and the last one was 21-19, so I beat her by just two.”
Coaches Tom Shukin and Chris Oram will be proud to hang the first Badminton Provincial Banner in the school gymnasium with her name on it.