Hillary Scholars help bring badminton glory back to the Waikato

17 August 2010

Michael Fowke

Michael Fowke: remained unbeaten throughout the competition.

The Wisden Cup will reside in the Waikato for the next year at least after the Waikato Badminton team, which included four Waikato University Sir Edmund Hillary scholars, secured the title – the first time since 1937.

Oliver Leydon-Davis, Susannah Leydon-Davis, Michael Fowke and Bjorn Seguin were part of the Waikato team which took home victory after a narrow 9-7 win against Waitakere in Hamilton earlier this week. It is the first time since 1966 the Wisden Cup has not been won by an Auckland-based team.

Waikato have previously finished runner-up for the past three years.  Fowke, who is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering, was one of two Waikato players who remained unbeaten throughout the competition.

The historic win was also an opportunity for team mate Oliver Leydon-Davis, who has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games later this year, to get valuable court time before heading to Asia and Tahiti to prepare with the Games team. Former Hillary Scholar and Waikato alumnus Joe Wu was also part of the Waikato team.

Oliver Leydon-Davis

Oliver Leydon-Davis: will head to New Delhi for the Commonwealth Games.

Waikato player/coach Tjitte (TJ) Weistra congratulated his players and told the Waikato Times the win was definitely ‘special’.

"I still remember some of our young team when they were younger, one of them was 11, but some were 13 or 14 when I got here. They've really come on in that time and have put a lot of hard work in."

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