Fantastic coverage coming through across New Zealand in print media, TV and radio, on this great new sport that Attn! PR'd in Hamilton yesterday with Badminton New Zealand, Speedminton and Tight Lines. -
A new sport to hit New Zealand, Speed Badminton, is set to take the shuttlecock to places where it’s never been before.
Popular throughout Europe, Asia and America, the next generation racquet sport was officially launched in New Zealand today, where it is set to gain mass appeal with Kiwis as a fun, competitive game for all ages and abilities.
Speed Badminton - otherwise known as Speedminton, after its international sports gear manufacturer - was founded in Germany in 2001. It combines some of the best elements of tennis, squash and badminton into one game – but the key point of difference is that there is no net or court so it can be played anywhere, anytime.
Speed Badminton has a specially designed racquet and modified shuttlecock, called a Speeder which unlike the traditional shuttlecock, can handle outdoor conditions, where players can hit speeds of up to 265 km/hr.
Germany Speedminton International Chief Executive Niels Mester said it was an exciting step to add New Zealand to the global family. “From what we know of New Zealanders’ passion for sport and love of the outdoors, we believe Kiwis of all ages will take up our fast and fun game.”
He has also challenged New Zealand to enter next year’s world championships. “Given Kiwi’s competitive nature and natural sporting talent, we’re expecting to see a team representing New Zealand in 2013.”
Badminton New Zealand is backing the new sport with the organisation committed to playing a major role in introducing Speed Badminton into clubs and schools across the country.
Chief Executive Nicki Martin said it’s not every day a new international sport, with such huge potential, is introduced to the country.
“This is an exciting moment in New Zealand sport, and for us. Speed Badminton provides a great opportunity to get more people interested in playing both the traditional game of badminton and a next generation racquet game. It’s going to be attractive to both competitive and recreational players”, she says.
The sport has been officially launched at Hamilton Boys High School as Speed Badminton is seen as an ideal sport for schools. Early uptake is ahead of expectations with over 20 schools across the country already purchasing the equipment and planning to build it into their curriculum.
Simon Rutherford, a former Physical Education teacher and Speedminton’s New Zealand promoter, says the biggest advantage for schools is that there is no need for dedicated facilities. Students can play outside on the grass or concrete, or inside in the school hall or gym.
“Speed Badminton is also one of the best sports for developing hand-eye coordination and gives kids an easy and fun introduction into all racquet sports,” says Mr Rutherford.
Todd Miller, Head of Physical Education at Hamilton Boys, is enthusiastic about the new sport.
“We decided to include Speed Badminton into the curriculum after Simon taught a lesson here. We liked how students in our classes were able to pick it up quickly regardless of their prior skills or ability.”
Badminton NZ believes Speed Badminton is a great avenue for introducing more New Zealanders to an outdoor game that has similar traits to badminton but is better suited to the Kiwi outdoor lifestyle.
“In New Zealand the Badminton season starts at the end of March and goes through to October. People enjoy playing the sport indoors, but when the warm weather arrives, New Zealanders want to head to the beach, bach or park where badminton can’t follow. Speed Badminton provides a real reach into the wider community,” says Ms Martin.
Bringing the game to New Zealand is credited to Hawke’s Bay former badminton representative Nikki Goodall, whose family business Tight Lines imports and wholesales outdoor equipment.
Nikki first saw the opportunity to bring Speedminton to New Zealand on a trip to Germany.
“I loved playing badminton at school and played at representative level. When I saw Speed Badminton being played I thought it would be a great game back home. I contacted Speedminton to see if we could source the gear for New Zealand.”
Badminton NZ and Tight Lines have now formed a partnership to ensure the game has the best opportunity to gain momentum in New Zealand. Under this agreement a portion of retail profits sold online from the sale of Speedminton gear will go to Badminton NZ to promote both codes.
The investment aims to see a national sports team going to the Speedminton World Championship in 2013.
• In the last five years more than 750,000 sets and five million Speeder sets have been sold worldwide. Today there are approximately two million players and 4,000 active players for tournaments.
• Speed Badminton is already played in the USA, Canada, Europe, Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia.
• Equipment can be purchased online at www.speedminton.co.nz, Smiths City and from selected sports stores. To find your nearest stockist email firstname.lastname@example.org
• More information about the game can be found at www.speedminton.co.nz
• Badminton is one of the top ten sports played in secondary schools and has one the fastest growth rates of all sports at this level. There are over 40,000 casual badminton players throughout New Zealand.
• Theoretical the Cross Speeder can fly up to 310km/h(193mph) when hit by a Speedminton(R) racket. The fastest measured speed hit by a players serving in an official tournament was 265km/h(165mph) hit by Per Hjalmarson in 2011.
• Depending on the player, an average beginner’s serve is likely to be about around 90-100km/h(56-62mph)
Schools and Institutions that have purchased Speedminton equipment
Alfriston College, Manakau City, University of Canterbury, Central Southland College, Christchurch Girls High School, College Sport, Mt Albert, Geraldine High School, Hamilton Boys High School, Hastings Boys High School, Hastings Girls High School, Hillcrest High School, Hamilton, Hutt Valley High School, Wellington, Kavanagh College, Dunedin, Kiwicare Preschool, Mangere, Kohia Terrace School, Epsom, Mangere College, Napier Boys High School, Napier Girls High School, Taradale High School, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington College, Woodford House, Hawke’s Bay.
For more information please contact
Anna Lorck 021 2886 771