Press Release: April 20, 2016
MISSISSAUGA—April 20, 2016—The venue was packed during Ignite Badminton League’s latest set of ties on Sunday, April 17th at the popular KC Badminton Club. Athletes, parents, coaches and fans gathered to witness the top two teams in IBL’s First Division. The action got underway at 6:00pm with KCBC Team 1 and Mandarin Team 1, facing off against one another in what was only the second time this season. This was, essentially, a rematch of what was a highly contested first match-up that had occurred on December 20, 2015. Back in December, a collection of ties saw these two top teams come to a draw of 4-4.
Both KCBC Team 1 and Mandarin Team 1 are comprised of top ranked Canadian senior and junior athletes, mixed with a number of highly skilled foreign players who currently also coach at clubs within Markham. Suffice it to say, Sunday evening’s ties had been highly anticipated for quite some time.
A grand total of eight phenomenal matches took place on Sunday night. While the crowd was there to witness the entire series of high caliber games that unfolded over the course of the evening, the match-up of Febriyan Irvannaldy and WenChao Shi, one of the Men’s Singles matches that took place over the course of the occasion, proved to be the event of the night. Would it be a repeat . . . or revenge? That was the question on everyone’s mind. The last time the aforementioned top two players contested each other, it was a fight to the dramatic and categorical end with the match lasting well over 90 minutes. Febriyan Irvannaldy had won that initial match back in December of 2015; and he emerged victorious again on Sunday night.
Febriyan IrvannaldyWhen asked to weigh in on his success, and on Sunday’s match specifically, Febriyan spoke openly about the incitement that he is honoured to provide IBL’s younger athletes with.
“I like that IBL brings everyone together from all clubs to enjoy badminton. It gives everyone a chance to show their skills. For me, it lets me show my fighting spirit on the court. It’s not easy to give up (with younger athletes watching). And hopefully the kids can learn from it.”
From the sidelines, parents of other IBL athletes watched, captivated. A couple of them weighed in on what it’s like to watch top-tiered talent play, while also supporting their own children who participate in the league.
Martin Tam, father of Brittney Tam, the third-ranked women’s singles player in Canada, spoke without prevarication about the many benefits that IBL has to offer its athletes.
“For Brittney, these are additional high-level games that prepare her for tournaments. There wasn’t anything else like this until this league came along, so there is a definite need for IBL. And IBL also gives high level competition to international players that are just new to the country, which is all outside a tournament format.”
Markham’s Chris Dasios agrees with Tam. Chris’ son, Mark, has made tremendous gains in the sport since joining Ignite Badminton League for the 2015-16 season. Mark’s improvements are easy to see in singles, doubles, and in mixed doubles, as well. Chris offered immense credit to Canada’s newest professional badminton league. Mark Dasios
“IBL gives these kids a chance to play against athletes from other clubs, which exposes them to variety, as well as different styles. It puts them into a game situation and that sort of ‘game pressure’ – all outside of the regular tournament schedule. And it happens with enough frequency that it helps them to improve their game. I also really like the camaraderie it builds with the athletes all cheering for one another, which is different than at other tournaments. It really breeds good sportsmanship because they want to see each other do well.”
The Dasios family has been involved in the sport for a considerable amount of time. Mark, a grade 11 student at Bill Crothers Secondary School in Markham, and a current Division Two player on IBL’s Mandarin Team 2, first tried the sport on for size when he was just ten. He spoke to IBL’s Sarah Miller following his Sunday night ties. Mark’s experience has been extensive with IBL this season.
“I’m pretty sure we’ve made the playoffs now, which is really good! I think we’re second seed, and that’s still fine. We’ll play the first seed from the other district. This is my first year playing with IBL, and I really wanted to get this far. That was really important to me. It shows just how hard we’ve worked. I train a lot, but drills are not the same as game experience, which has been immeasurable here.”
Also worth mentioning is the fact that there was plenty of action on other courts within the league, and beyond the walls of KC Badminton Club. This past Sunday night, also in Markham, the Pink Fluffy Unicorns (PFU) defeated the Thunder Birds 7-1 and ultimately overtook KCBC Team 2 in the race to qualify for the upcoming Championship Finals. Similarly, Loose Feathers defeated the Smash Potatoes to take the lead over the Mississauga Mavericks in the Second Division.
The remaining – and upcoming – ties will determine exactly what teams will qualify for the Championship Finals at Humber College on May 27th and 28th. Without a doubt, it will be a tight race to the finish, but the task ahead for the athletes en route to the 2016 Finals is never greater than the strength within.
A complete list of results from all Sunday April 17th matches was recently posted for your convenience on the Ignite Badminton League website.
For more information, please contact: Sarah Miller, Sport Development Canada, cell (905) 749-0361 or e-mail email@example.com