Badminton draws in hundreds from across Alta., Sask.

The squeak of sneakers on the gymnasium floor and the dull thud of birdie coming in contact with racquets were augmented by the happy...

The squeak of sneakers on the gymnasium floor and the dull thud of birdie coming in contact with racquets were augmented by the happy and competitive chatter and laughter from kids between 13 and 19 at the annual Stettler Junior Badminton Tournament.

Running from Friday, Feb. 5 to Sunday, Feb. 7, the tournament saw 112 kids compete in singles, doubles and mixed doubles in all age groups. The tournament ran on a round-robin, with the best of the teams advancing to quarter- and semi-finals, before each bracket came away with a clear winner.

The competitors from from all across Alberta and Saskatchwan for the annual event, which has run for more than two decades.

The tournament was hosted by the Stettler Junior Badminton Club, whose coaches Bruce LaRocque, Matt Robinson, Alana Stefanik and Destiny Croker plan and run the three days of badminton action. The competition uses up the gymnasiums in both the elementary school and secondary campus.

Of the 112 kids competing this year, LaRocque said about 20 kids from Stettler took part, though none went on to win first or second place.

The club will compete in Calgary Feb. 19-21, and again March 4-6 before heading to provincials in April.