St Helena's Vernon Smeed - second from right - a badminton force who helped out on the Coast.
St Helena's Vernon Smeed - second from right - a badminton force who helped out on the Coast. Contributed

Locals work out with badminton Games rep

COOROY Badminton Club members are relishing the Commonwealth Games being staged just down the road on the Gold Coast with their sport in the world spotlight.

And St Helena's sole badminton rep in its team of 11 is Vernon Smeed, who also represented at the previous Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Smeed coaches British Military Services badminton teams.

He has been training at nearby Sunshine Coast Badminton Club and president and Games badminton liaison officer Fay Gibson arranged a closed session for him to work out with a few of the top local players.

Smeed is one of the few people making a living from badminton.

The British forces have a long-established association with Badminton England and encourage their personnel to train and develop as coaches,

to give back and foster relations with their local community.

"To play badminton at the highest level, you have to be super-fit and agile, but strategy, tactics and teamwork are just as important in winning the game, hence why all the forces love it as their all- round mental and physical training game,” Smeed said.

The Sunshine Coast became one of the strongest badminton centres, with clubs flourishing in larger Sunshine Coast towns.

During the 1980s when the Cooroy Hall was finished, the club regularly produced junior and open players for the Queensland team.

Cooroy, with its growing club membership, remains one of the best purpose-built venues for the game in Queensland today.

The GC2018 Australian badminton team of 10 will playing in the ultra-new Carrara stadium.

Headliners Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa, ranked No 2 in the Commonwealth Women's Doubles, are set to inspire the next generation.

Meanwhile Mapasa and Sawan Serasinghe play together in one of the few games that offers mixed doubles. Tickets for GC2018 Badminton are available for most sessions from $30 for the semi-finals and $40 for the finals.

To play badminton in Noosa call Kris on 0407001845.