World class badminton players from Indonesia have arrived in Northern Ireland to train in Lisburn Racquets Club. The four players, accompanied by two coaches are here for a five day training session in preparation for the Badminton World Championships which are in London next week. These Championships are a pre-Olympic qualifier, so their preparations at the excellent Lisburn Racquets Club are vital.
Simon Santoso, Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, Adriyanti Firdasari and Linda Wenifanetri are all successful members of the Indonesian squad which is ranked 3rd in the world, and are each vying for an all important World title.
Lisburn Racquets was recently chosen to host the Yonex International Badminton Championships in December this year, which is a 2012 qualifying event so we will see yet more of badminton’s highest ranking stars here in Lisburn.
Minister for Sport, Carál Ní Chuilín MLA said, “I welcome the news that members of the highly regarded Indonesian badminton team have decided to use Lisburn Raquets Club to prepare for the World Championships in London. Only last month, delegates from the Chinese gymnastics squad visIted Salto in Lisburn to view the fantastic facilities available there. Also, later this month the Sports Institute at Jordanstown will host the World Boccia Championships which is a pre-qualifier for the Paralympic Games. The north of Ireland is continuing to demonstrate that it has the capabilities and world class facilities suitable for world class athletes. I wish the team well in their preparations and every success in what I am sure will be a very exciting competition.”
Meeting the athletes, Eamonn McCartan, Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland said:
“It’s very significant to have world class athletes training here in Lisburn Racquets. It is further evidence of the outstanding facilities and expertise available in Northern Ireland, and the success there has been in promoting this to sporting organisations around the world to attract professional athletes and international squads. The benefit is two-fold: providing role models and inspiring our young athletes to also become world-class; and to increase the number of individuals within society getting involved in sport and physical activity.”
In a recent article in The Jakarta Globe publication when discussing the training in Lisburn Racquets and asked about a possible training venue for pre-2012 Olympics, Head of Athlete Development for the Indonesian Badminton Association Mr Hadi Nazri commented, “If those facilities are suitable for us to train before the 2012 Olympics, we think we’ll use them for the training camp next year.”
The visiting athletes were also welcomed by Mayor Councillor Brian Heading of Lisburn City Council, whose support for this visit and the Chinese gymnastics team visit in July, has been invaluable.