Sunday, September 30, 2012

Our arrival at Caloundra

Dear readers

Where is Caloundra? It is in the Sunshine Coast. It is 1 hr north of Brisbane.

So what has happened since we left Perth?

Here are some photos of the going away party.

Parents waiting for check in
The Leonards family

Xiang and his family

This is Xiang's first trip away from his family. He is excited.

The Leonards

I was just told , this is the first time Sophie and mum are separated from dad. What a great family. I also missed Tiana and Ben who were at the airport earlier.

The Gudkas

This is Heer's 2nd trip away from his  family. He is doing well.

Kim and Olivia with Alex. Parents missing.

The Tans.  Captain, Manager, Umpire and asst coach

The team complete

The team and supporters
Heer saying goodbye. Is there a tear in  his eye?

The team on the airport tarmac

Breakfast at Brisbane airport

It was a long flight. Luckily we got a meal in the aircraft. When we arrived at Brisbane airport, we had to wait an hr for our coach as the one we were supposed to get had an accident. The team had to go back to the airport to find comfortable spots to catch a nap.

By this time I was dead tired as I did not manage any sleep on the plane. Kim had to drive after we had some issue with his GPS which insisted on starting the journey from Kim's home at WA.

We finally got to Caloundra and the Watermark Resort. It is quite nice and the players immediately went for a swim at the pool.

Annie, Tonia and myself went shopping for food. We went to ALDI first and were shocked to find out we had to pay 15 cents for plastic bags.

We decided to go to Coles as we are more familiar with their products. $400 was spent on supplies today. We made chicken rolls for the players for lunch before departing for the   Sunshine Coast Badminton Centre at Nambour.

When I returned to the resort I found out Olivia was in tears as she realised she had left her badminton shoes in Perth. Quick phone calls were made to try and solve the problem. I made a call to Will Mckehnie from the Sunshine Coast Badminton Centre and he told me he had some Victor shoes which could be Olivia's size.

Olivia subsequently told us sheepishly that she found her shoes. What a drama.

What a view from the resort.

Kim relaxing after lunch

Will was good enough to meet us there and to hand over the keys. Will is the president of the Sunshine Coast Badminton Centre. He graciously opened the hall for us and even entrusted me with the keys to use the hall tomorrow.

What a great guy. He also showed me the Victor shoes and I found out they were pre 1996 designs. Lucky for Olivia.

The hall was great and I also saw some antique wooden rackets in the offices of the club.

Great club

These are the 1996 shoes.

Great courts and great club judging from Will's attitude towards looking after visitors.

After Nambour we headed back for home and dinner cooked  by Annie and Tonia and myself. Dinner was steak and chicken with rice and salad. Heer had tofu sausages and eggs. He is happy.

After dinner Kim and I discussed strategies. It will be an interesting competition.

I am too tired now. Got to sleep soon. It is 11 pm Queensland time or 9 pm Perth time.


Comments from readers

Cool updates on the blog and love the pics and the views!  Please wish the team the very best of luck and I hope you guys give it your all and have heaps of fun!!!  
Jiten Bhatt

Hi Raymond, Annie, Kim and Team...

Loved the photos of the departure-- and of Kim sitting basking on the balcony... I can see that the life of the Coach is very easy!

It would not be a sporting trip if someone did not lose some important item-- eg Olivia's shoes-- which of course, were not lost at all.... so a happy ending.

Here in Perth it is 34 degrees today-- so similar to Caloundra I suppose.

Looking forward to more blogs

President Judy Cousins

Monday, September 24, 2012

Last training session and the President's Cup

Dear readers

Last Sunday morning was the last training session for the State team. It has been great seeing how the players have improved weekly in confidence.

The team has been so lucky to have had volunteers every week to help them improve.

Special mention goes to John and Silvi Botha. Titus has been another regular. Sometimes it feels like it is the Under 17s training session as Silvi and Titus will probably be in the Under 17s team.

Gwen and Ed Bitao have also been great in giving the players a challenge on Sunday mornings.

Last Sunday, we were also lucky to have Ryan Lin turn up. Ryan is studying his Masters and Sports Science and is doing a thesis on badminton.

Ryan and Ed v Xiang and Tyz

John and Titus v Sophie and Heer

The team and volunteers

After the last training session, we had to bring the team to South Perth for the President's Cup Challenge at Wesley College.

The players were treated to a healthy Subway lunch at the South Perth foreshore.

Healthy lunch at the river front

The team at South Perth with the city backdrop.
After lunch, it was down to Wesley College for the President's Cup Challenge.  Paul Kong was already at Wesley waiting for his players.

The President's team comprise of Dennis Zhao, Aaron Tiong, and Andrew. The girls were led by Eunice Lee, Gen Low and Mika Lee.

As mentioned, this is the first Junior President's Cup. We were graced with Judith's presence. Kay was also kind enough to assist.

Infact, we were pleased that the players were honoured with the attendance of Himanshu and Kelly Hoare representing BAWA. Even Yuli Zheng turned up to have a view of the players' standard as some of the players will be in the Under 17's team which she will coach.

Andrew and Gillian Chai arrived with some desserts and  shuttles which came in handy.

The teams squaring up to each other

The teams with supporters and the President

Eunice v Olivia

Tyz v Dennis
Xiang v Aaron

Xiang and Tyz v Aaron and Dennis

Andrew and Mika v Heer and Sophie

Alex and Tyz v Dennis and Eunice
Gen and Aaron
Xiang and Olivia
The games were hard fought all the way by the challengers and the State team.

There were 11 matches played in total and the State team managed to win 9 of the matches winning them the President's Cup.

Standout games were the following games:

Dennis and Tyz had a 3 setter with Tyzton taking the first set after trailing 16 - 8. He lost the 2nd set but fought back to win the final set.

Heer's game against Andrew was also another 3 setter which finally saw Andrew winning at 27/25 on the 3rd set. Both boys played their hearts out without giving an inch.

Tyzton and Xiang won the first set against  Dennis and Aaron. They got to 29/27. What a thriller. They won the 2nd set at 21/19.

The State girls had an easier run.

All the players should be proud of their effort.

The winning team with the Cup

We have to thank Kim Rodgers for getting the team ready for the journey to Caloundra.

I am sure all the players are excited about the competition. They have all trained hard and we wish them the best.

Good night.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Silver Cup tournament

Dear friends and readers

The team has been playing at the WA Silver Cup which is a tournament for doubles only.

As usual it is a 2 day event and some of the parents took the oppurtunity to fundraise.

We were thankful for the Leonard family organising the sausage sizzle. The sausages were donated by Karnet Prison and the bread rolls were freshly baked that day by the prisoners of  Bandyup Prison. Even the sauces, napkins etc were donated by another prison.

The Leonards have been great in assisting with fund raising and support for their daughter's participation in the team. This is Sophie's first state team representation and she is so lucky to have the support of her whole family including her sis Tiana and her boyfriend Ben. They took a morning off to help with the sausage sizzle.

Tiana, Ben, Phil and Tonia at the sausage sizzzle

They made more than $500 from selling sausages and drinks for the 2 days.

Xiang's dad, Tong giving a helping hand
We depend so much on the parents to help fund raise. Heer's dad who owns a Cheese cake shop donated a couple of cakes for the coffee stand which was manned by Annie.

We also were lucky to get some cakes donated by Lucy Yau. She has always been a great help as her sons also play badminton. Corrina who is Annie's club member also donated some cakes which were well received.

Andrew Chai from the Samson Victor Baddie Club also spent the afternoon coercing every passer by into buying raffle tickets for the wool blanket he donated.

It has been a good fund raising 2 days as we raised nearly $800.  That should cover the petrol cost for the trip.

We also received a donation from Kim Goh who owns a post office at Applecross.

The team did well. Alex and Olivia won the B division ladies doubles. Sophie won the C division ladies doubles. Tyz and Alex were runner up in the B division mixed doubles.

I also took part in the competition but could only manage a semi final game in the C division men's doubles.

After most of the games had been completed, I got some players to challenge the team. We were lucky to organise some good matches.

Next week will be the inaugural Junior President's Cup tournament. The players are getting as much training as possible and should be reaching their peak just in time for the tournament.

It is just another 16 days. Are they ready? I do not know if I am ready. There is still so much to do.

As mentioned previously in the blog, this blog is different as it also contains a manager's perspective.

I am already in discussion with Kay Terry regarding her fund raising for the Under 17s which is in March next year. It never seems to stop. Good night.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

23 more days till the competition

Dear players and parents

I just checked and it is another 23 days before the competition.

The players have been training hard.

I have been working hard to get as much funds in as possible.

Latest thanks have to go to Brian Nugawela, a good friend and fellow lawyer. Brian is another lawyer who always can be counted on whenever I need help with fund raising or legal advice as a specialist counsel.

The promised funds from the MUI Group from Malaysia has also come in and that is a big sponsorship. Thanks to Tan Sri Dato Khoo for making that sponsorship deal as a Bronze sponsor for BAWA.

The MUI group website is at

We are also grateful to Judith for donating a basket of goodies for a raffle at the Silver Cup.

The stand out story of the things we have to go through to get sponsors must go to Andrew Chai from Victor Sports and the Samson Badminton Club.

He was invited by myself to take part in a golf competition at the Vines Golf Resort. The night before the competition he SMSs me to say he wanted to pull out as he knew the weather would not be great.

His question was "will I look bad?"

My responsive SMS to him was "we are men". He had no choice but to turn up to preserve his reputation and manhood.

We did play that day and I can tell you, the weather was horrendous and I have never felt so cold and wet while playing golf. The rain was coming side ways but we fought on.

Andrew then got to a Par 3 and hit the ball nearest to the pin winning him a $500 voucher at a shop in Chinatown that sells all sorts of products.

He ended up getting amongst other goodies, 2 x 100% wool blankets. He has given them to us for auctioning. This should be interesting.

I can try and convert anything to cash for the players.

It will also be interesting to see how we convert the prison hotdogs to cash at the Silver Cup tournament.

Anyway, we have to also thank Edward, Trevor, Gwen, Titus, Chris and Tiffany for turning up today to give the players a game. These volunteers are great for getting the best out of the training for the players.

Judith has also agreed to sponsor the first Presidents Junior Cup on 23 Sept 2012 which is the last week before we leave for Caloundra.

The concept of "Ask and you shall receive" resonates in my life beliefs. The President's Cup is usually organised as a final training competition before the senior team leave for their Nationals. The Juniors have never had such a competition before. It is run on the same format as the Nationals team events.

I asked Paul Kong who is Tyzton's personal coach at Wesley to help organise a game for the players and he agreed.

I then asked if Judith would honour us with her presence as President of BAWA and she agreed. In fact she said she would get a trophy just for the first President's Junior Cup.

Not to stop there, I realised I needed help as I had never organised a competition on the Nationals format before. An email was sent to Kelly Hoare and Kay Terry for help. They had no hesitation in saying yes. These ladies are the backbone of BAWA and we really need to be thankful for the work they do.

Gwen and Tiffany

Ed and Chris

Titus and Tyz in face making mode

Titus and Trevor v Tyz and Xiang

The volunteers and players

At the end of the training session, Annie went through with the players their rights regarding the rules of badminton.

Our umpire going through the rules.

I can see the difference in the players' confidence as they train and get closer to the competition. The future looks bright as all of the players have been putting everything they have into their training. Good night.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Training on Father's Day

Dear friends and parents

Today was Father's day. That did not stop the team from training as hard as they are used to. We were grateful that John , Irma and Silvi came together to give the team a game. I always believe that the family that plays together stays together. Unfortunately my missus had to see the dentist with Jazton. We missed them at training.

Edward, Andik and Titus also helped out although it was Father's Day.

The fund raising has been going well.

We were given 1000 bottles of water from the Refresh Waters sponsorship which I signed for BAWA.

I have sold 500 bottles at $1 each to Henry and Frank Pua.

I have a pre order for another 20 cartons of 24 bottles each to a friend of YuLi Zheng.

Yuli was the coach for the Under 17s team this year. She was great to the players and treated the players like a mum.

I saw her on Tuesday and told her about how we only had 6 players in the team and having to pay $50 for court hire each Sunday with $10 for shuttles.

When I arrived at my office on Wednesday, there were 8 tubes of shuttles donated by Yuli. What a great lady. Hopefully she will volunteer to coach the Under 17s again next year.

We are nearly at the target of $5000 that I set. I might move the target again.

Phil and Tonia Leonard have received a donation of 200 hotdogs and rolls from the prison where Phil works. I just found out today that the rolls are specially made by the prisoners of Bandyup and Karnet. They are doing it for the Under 15s State team. What a great gesture by the prisoners.

Kim has agreed to send a certificate of appreciation from BAWA to the prisons.

We are getting help from everywhere.

Thanks need to go to Stave Farano of for his kind donation.

Thanks also to Matthew of   for their donation.

We also need to thank Jefta Afiat of JR Starlight Pty Ltd for his generous sponsorship.

Mdm Lim of G- link Australia Migration Services must also be thanked.

Jacquie Farrace has also been kind enough to support the team with a donation.

The family had a great Father's Day at home. We are looking forward to the Silver Cup tournament. Good night.