Hi all, Yesterday at the end of our training session, we were all given this piece of letter from the Canterbury Badminton Association (the governing body of the province which we play for) congratulating us for representing Canterbury..which is a good start..and then BANG! And I quote "as part of funding for your accomodation and training and shuttles, please have ready $200 to be paid to your team manager by next week". *sigh* I wasn't like surprised. I've always known that there is a training fee, and u pay for your own accomodation when u go away in competition, but still, I felt like I had to swallow a brick down my throat! And that got me thinking.. Isn't it amazing, that you can love the game so much, play it, and even try to excel in it, to the point of representing your school,club,province, etc. I dunno about the rest of you, but I find sometimes your love for the game really get tested when faced with various constraints, especially financially. A couple of Malaysian girlfriends of mine who are currently studying in Christchurch, (ex-malaysian state players, who would probably kick arse if they play for us) refuse to play on the basis that they can't afford to PAY to PLAY! They actually find it humourously ridiculous given that they're actually get PAID to play for their respective states back home. Btw, the girls' main objective coming to Chch is to study, and so therefore, badminton is not a priority to them. So I find that because badminton is not a major sport in NZ (unlike rugby, cricket or netball) the sport gets no funding and backing from the government and therefore, players have to pay for playing competitively either by fundraising or through their own wallet Even national players have to pay for their own flights (and sometimes accomodations!) if they want to go play in tournaments overseas, even though they're representing NZ! A couple of them have already given up of trying to keep their competitive days going due to the costs and plus, often, their employers wouldn't want to give them any time off to play in tournaments! And I haven't even begin to touch on the financial constraints that we face in terms of badmintion eq and apparels! I know some of the upcoming junior players are not even sponsored! A lot of them gave the sport up once they find that they got other things they have to pay for first b4 badmintion, like funding their studies etc. So I think it's such a waste to lose young talents..all this is really sad! Also, we have coaching problems..not enough good coaches at the provincial level and above. Our current coach is an ex-provincial level and well..there's only so much he can do. I know that the national players are coached by a Chinese former national player (can't remember her name..Li Fan I think), but other than her, that's it..the rest of the coaches are pretty mediocre The provincial players from the North Island on the whole get better coaching, training, facilities and funding their South Island counterpart (Canterbury is in the South Island). So because we're kinda far away from them, the distance between our level of play and theirs are also beginning to become further and further. Currently, Canterbury who is in the Wisden Cup Division One league (inter-provincial league), is probably one of the weakest teams. Hehe, we'll be lucky to get a point against the national players. That's how bad the gap is.. So basically, coaching and funding for badminton here in NZ is really bad. What about the rest of you out there? What are the major obstacles you guys face that is threatening your love for the sport? If you're playing competitively, what constraints are you facing that can perhaps at times, make you think twice about playing competitively? And often, for the amount of time, effort and money you put in, do you think it's worth it? If you do, why? For those of you that are lucky enough to have sponsors and fundings either locally or nationally, count your blessings This food of thought has been served freshly to you by aDeLiNa, who's feeling a bit dejected and sad today P.S Btw, Any top level players, ex-national players, current national players, top level coaches out there reading this..I just want to point out that NZ is a beautiful country and you would just love it here...so would you please come and coach us?