Richards wants to take badminton to world level
Shayne Fairman, Sunday Gleaner Writer
President of the Jamaica Badminton Association, Robert Richards, says his administration will be going all out to secure significant investment to lift the quality of the game locally.
"We are making a concerted effort to lift badminton to global status. There is no money available currently, but we are negotiating with the Chinese and the private sector to secure the funding.
"Our badminton needs a world-class coach to further develop players' techniques and experience. We plan to secure the services of that top coach early next year," Richards said.
He added that the association plans to have some of its top players playing in Europe and Asia.
"They have to move forward or they'll be left behind," Richards explained. "We are working overtime to strike partnerships, to give local badminton the global take- off it needs.
"Brazil started its badminton thrust 12 years ago and today they are in the top three in the world," Richards noted.
He believes the recently concluded Caribbean Regional Badminton Confederation (CAREBACO) championship which Jamaica dominated as hosts, winning a total of 58 medals, showed the island is doing satisfactorily in the sport.
"We were dominant at home. Overall we are ranked satisfactorily in the Caribbean. We at the JBA are not satisfied with that. We want excellence, an A plus standard," the president outlined. In noting that the sport is not yet in a desirable position, Richards added that the rest of his tenure will be dedicated to achieving success and growth. "I am only interested in the big picture. Getting Jamaica to global growth. In the process we have to improve our players for the big competitions like the Pan-American Games, Central American Games, Pan-Am Seniors, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics," Richards said.
Meanwhile, Trevor McCain, a certified Pan-Am referee, believes the standard of play locally is improving.
"Most games are of a high quality and very competitive," he stated.