Shepparton Badminton Association’s preparations for the new season received a major boost on Tuesday night, with a special guest appearance at its first practice hit.By Damen Francis
Shepparton Badminton Association’s preparations for the new season received a major boost on Tuesday night, with a special guest appearance at its first practice hit.
Jeff Tho, who represented Australia at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, was in Shepparton as part of his dentistry studies and attended the evening to offer some advice to local players.
Association treasurer John Pettigrew said Tho’s presence provided a great buzz at Shepparton Sports Stadium.
‘‘He spread himself around and introduced himself and he certainly played some good badminton and he brought out the best in some of our players as well,’’ Pettigrew said.
‘‘He mostly got on the court and played against them and after the games he would be talking with them and giving them hints and that sort of thing.
‘‘We have people of all standards in the association and even some of those lower standards can get benefit of seeing someone like that.’’
Unfortunately the association’s own star — Mike Scandolera — wasn’t able to be there.
Scandolera won gold in the mixed doubles at the 1986 Commonwealth Games and picked up two bronze medals as part of the Australian team in 1986 and 1982.
‘‘Mike still plays, he’s getting on a bit now, but it would have been interesting to see Mike up against him,’’ Pettigrew said.
It was the association’s first practice night for the year and the biggest first night it has ever had.
President Damien Drake said it was great to see the sport generating some enthusiasm.
‘‘It was good for a few of our better players to have a hit against someone of that quality,’’ Drake said.
‘‘His coaching was very valuable to a lot of developing players.’’
Tuesday night is the final practice before the start of the new season and all prospective players are welcome to join.
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