Able-bodied and Para badminton players join forces to compete in the 2020 LiveLighter Perth Championships

The 2020 LiveLighter Perth Championships took place at the Kingsway Indoor Stadium in early August, with over 200 players from the Western state competing.

Badminton Western Australia is celebrating an emphatic return to the badminton court with limited restrictions on social gatherings, while other states in Australia – such as Victoria – face a harsh reality with COVID-19 and are currently under strict isolation instructions.

Across the two days of tournament actions, players competed in multiple grades (A-D) with an additional wheelchair doubles competition, which consists of able-bodied and Para badminton players such as TOTAL BWF World Championships 2019 participant and reigning WH2 men’s singles continental champion, Grant Manzoney. In total, seven pairs entered the wheelchairs doubles event.

Meanwhile, three of the Para badminton players, along with Ian Bridge, also entered the able-bodied draws of men’s doubles tournament in Grade D, to celebrate inclusion and maximise opportunities for the Para badminton players.

Additionally, the women’s singles SL3-4 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5 Champion from the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2018, Caitlin Dransfield, is competed in the able-bodied event, across the B and C grade disciplines.

“Australia’s Para badminton player’s have made fantastic progress since the inaugural Continental Championships in 2018. Obviously COVID-19 brought a halt to many player’s progress, but this particularly hit the Para badminton community who already faced a number of barriers to participation.

“This weekend was a really valuable opportunity for our Para players to get an opportunity to take part in some competitive badminton once again, and also for them to compete against some experienced able bodied players who are competing in this event,” said Badminton Oceania Coaching and Development Officer, Ian Bridge.

You can follow the progress of the Para badminton players on Facebook. To find the tournament’s progress and all results visit Tournament Software.