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On Wednesday 10 May, four Salesian boys competed in the ACC Open Badminton Tournament, determined to maintain the ascendancy established by Salesian last year. Competing against 8 other ACC schools, our veteran badminton team faced an unprecedented challenge as a new challenger arose as a clear theat. That reality, that threat, was St Joseph’s College, Ferntree Gully. The first match against St Bernard’s gave us the confidence and motivation to believe in ourselves, although the ease of the contest (8-0) probably meant that we ought to have been wary of stronger opposition to come. Nevertheless, to our surprise, we continued to dominate our opponents, sailing through the next four rounds with relative ease. Then came the true test. Salesian and St Josephs were staring each other down. We raised our commitment and focus and miraculously, we triumphed 8-0, yet again. ‘Wow!’, we thought. But it was too early for any celebration. When the time came to play our rival, Whitefriars, the team was pumped, and coaching ensured we kept our edge. After a battle that was closer, at 7-1, we knew we were on track. The final match-up was Mazenod, a school that is a rival to us in many ways. Special circumstances and a special rivalry are often the mother of exceptional feats, and so it proved on this occasion. Salesian triumphed 7-1 in an exhilarating team performance. We were ACC Open Badminton Champions, again. It was a proud moment for us, but the accolades belong with Mark Wang as well, for his astute coaching, for his inspiration and for the time he took to craft us into the successful team we are. A word of thanks is also due to Mr Schillaci’s supervision and moral support throughout the final.
Our Most Valuable Player, Alan, was able to fly through his matches, almost acing every single game. In a sense, he was the on-court heart of the team, giving us assurance and durability, and a basis out of which we could launch our game into the ionosphere.