Over 150 athletes from 9 countries competed in the 26th staging of the Yonex Pan American Badminton Championships held at the GC Foster College of Physical Education & Sport from April 26 – 29, 2023.
This is the second time that the championship was being held in Jamaica, with the first being held over 30 years ago. The College was very proud to be a major sponsor in hosting this international event.
The players from Canada emerged as champions in all sections, dominating all 5 divisions, winning all 5 gold medals in the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The team of Samuel O’Brien Ricketts and Tahlia Richardson from Jamaica made the country proud by making it to the quarter-finals of the mixed and doubles, while their Jamaican teammates of Bradley Evans and Samuel O’Brien Ricketts also made it to the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles.
In addition to the Indoor badminton championships, the new outdoor format of badminton, called air badminton, which is very new to the region and to the Badminton World Federation, was played on GC Foster’s outside Sand Court on April 30, 2023. The finals included the participation of seven countries. According to Mr. Vishwanauth Tolan, President of the Pan American Badminton Confederation, and Chairman of the College, this was a glorious opportunity for countries to participate, as the winners of this championship will compete in Bali for the ANOC World Beach Games Bali 2023; and so the winners of the men and the women’s singles would automatically obtain a spot in the finals. The Brazilian team won both the men’s and the women’s sections.
In addition to the championships, the college hosted a one-week training camp on campus prior to the beginning of the major event. The camp, sponsored by Pan Am Sports and the Pan American Badminton Confederation included 37 players and 18 coaches from across the Panama region. This was being done in preparation for the Pan Am Games, which will be held in October in Santiago, Chile.
The organizers of the championships lauded GC Foster College as a major sponsor, stating that it is the best championship in recent times, as they went all out in preparing the venue and provided glorious hospitality hosting this international event. It must also be noted that many persons commented on the warm treatment and professional decorum with which the team at G.C. Foster College conducted themselves. This team included volunteers, officials, and other technical team members.
G.C. Foster College also benefitted immensely from this tournament, as this event was streamed across a global network, reaching over 1,000,000 viewers, and therefore Jamaica would have benefited significantly. Mr. Tolan indicated that several pieces of equipment that badminton Pan American left, have become the property of GC Foster College, such as beach volleyball, beach football, and badminton equipment. He also noted that we benefited also from the visit of the development manager from PanAm Sports who came at the beginning of the camp, toured the facility, and is currently in discussion with hosting Track and field workshops in Jamaica through GC Foster College. The manager, Mr. Ricardo Probert, is also interested. In assisting with the redevelopment of the swimming pool.