Games come to town
IN CAMEROON, football is king.
But a new wave of youngsters are pushing their people to accept that there are sports other than football.
In recent years, boxing, basketball and wrestling have grown in stature and now a small contingent is hoping to improve the profile of badminton.
The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast will be the first time in the nation's history it has competed in badminton.
The three-person team of coach Constant Assembe, men's singles player Antoine Owona and women's singles player Stella Ngadjui, have made Stanthorpe their base as they put the finishing touches on their Games preparation.
"We are here in Stanthorpe to prepare for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. In our preparation we came out to meet up with the players of this club,” Assembe said.
"We have more to do to be ready for the competition.
"We have many tactics to work on. We have to prepare our team for these Games.
"All is not perfect. We have many, many things still to do to be right. We want to win but I know it's not easy.”
Malaysia and India are the two outright favourites in the competition.
Assembe said the experience would be a learning curve, for both the players and their country.
"For our country, badminton is not the first game... it's not the second game. We try to develop badminton in our country and we'll see how the guys play.
"They're not the best players but we want to show in our country that badminton can also be an important sport,” he said.
The team has spent the past few days warming up for their competition with some friendly fixtures against local players at the Stanthorpe Fitness Centre.