Badminton clinic has campers swinging at birdies

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Folsom or Vista del Lago high schools don?t offer badminton as a varsity sport, but if they did the team?s might be pretty good. Sutter Middle School physical education teacher Kyle Wilkin offered his badminton camp for the second straight summer and had a decent turnout with 16 players showing up last week for the weeklong camp. Wilkin isn?t there to babysit either. He?s not there just watching as players swat at the birdie, trying to hit it as hard and as far as they can. Wilkin runs the camp much like he would during class, teaching the kids the proper technique, as well as going over the rules of the game. Wilkin covered one key strategy of the game, encouraging players to hit a deep shot to get their opponent away from the net before following it up for a dink shot, which would force the opponent to race up to the net and hit the birdie over the net with an underhand stroke. That would set up the attacking player for a smash shot, and if it?s executed correctly, in all likelihood a winning point. ?I?d like the kids to learn the rules and strategy, as well as the basic fundamentals of the game,? Wilkin said. ?The most important thing I want, though, is for them to have fun.?