Guernsey Press

Local players ready for visiting challenge at Easter badminton open

Guernsey will once again be a major destination on the English badminton circuit as it hosts the popular Easter Open.

Hampshire’s Ben Muir (left) is returning to defend his open singles title this year. (33099729)

The annual Guernsey Senior Silver and Masters Bronze event has attracted 63 players to the Rohais Badminton Halls, around half of whom are travelling to the island.

Guernsey Badminton Association president Andrew Barker has highlighted how the long-running event continues to attract classy visitors, who often return year after year.

‘It’s just through word of mouth and it’s that big an event,’ he told the Guernsey Press Sport Podcast.

‘A tournament in the UK... you can drive for an hour, and if you get knocked out, you just drive home. Obviously over here, you’re stuck.

‘The social side is a big thing and they all love the social side of it. That’s what we want to do – we want to make the sport as social as possible and as fun as possible, really.’

But beyond this fun and friendliness is a fiercely competitive tournament.

  • Hear more from Andy Barker on this week’s Guernsey Press Sport Podcast

GBA president Andy Barker speaking on the latest Guernsey Press Sport Podcast. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 33099616)

Hampshire star Ben Muir, as reigning champion, will be favourite in the open singles.

Northamptonshire’s Dan Davey goes in seeded second, while young Rafael Cresdee and Anthony Peverell are also in the mix and could be for years to come.

The Sarnian interest includes Alex Tapp, who is Guernsey’s current singles champion, and fellow home Island Games players David Trebert and Daniel Penney.

England international Anne Hubscher headlines the women’s singles draw in the absence of champion Georgina Bland.

Iranian refugee and aspiring Olympian Dorsa Yavarivafa was due to compete as second seed but, unfortunately, suffered injury at the 11th hour.

Guernsey U18 champion Grace Edwards, who was the squad youngster in last year’s home Games, joins Naomi Kewell and Jay Webber in representing the hosts.

But Guernsey’s biggest hopes of a senior title come in the doubles events.

Island star Paul Le Tocq is reuniting with English partner Ben Wheatley as favourites and champions for the open doubles while last year’s runners-up, young Tapp and Trebert, form the most promising all-Sarnian pairing.

Le Tocq will join forces in the mixed with Guernsey’s Emily Trebert, who claimed a singles bronze at last year’s home Games. She had won mixed gold at Gibraltar 2019 with brother Jordan.

Although going is tough for the local players, Barker believes they will benefit from facing different opponents.

‘It’s difficult for us to get off the island and play against other players – you’ve got the cost of travel and we have to stay nights.’

Action starts tonight, and Barker is encouraging spectators to watch Saturday’s finals afternoon, which runs from noon until around 5pm.