A private sponsor and youth club will have their debuts this Saturday, as Northern Marianas Badminton Association holds its first tournament of the season at the TSL Sports Complex.
Sun Palace Hotel will sponsor NMBA's season-opener dubbed as the Sun Palace Hotel Singles and Doubles Badminton Competition 2013.
“We are happy to help NMBA in promoting badminton and active lifestyle though involvement in sports competitions. Sun Palace started supporting sports groups and team late last year, as we also sponsored a basketball team,” Sun Palace Hotel co-owner Shirley Kim said.
Sun Palace Hotel, located in Oleai near the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield at the Oleai Sports Complex, is one of the oldest hotels on Saipan.
“It was built in 1983. That time Saipan had no small hotel, so we thought that it would be good to put up one. We started with 11 rooms and then after two years, we added seven more. In 1992, we built a two-storey building with 20 rooms. My husband used the word sun in naming the hotel, saying its symbolizes a bright future,” Kim added.
The inaugural Sun Palace Hotel tournament will feature over 60 players from NMBA's five regular clubs and newcomer Community Badminton Club. CBC will compete against players from Shirley's Badminton Club, TAGA Badminton Club, Berks Blazers, Saipan Badminton Club, and the Golden Racquet.
“We would like to welcome the Community Badminton Club to the NMBA family. This is a youth club headed by Andreau Galvez and aims to encourage more youth to get involved not only in sports, but also in community service,” tournament director Macoi Aguda said.
The association's season-opening event will have a round-robin format in the elimination and winners will received medals and cash prizes.
Aguda sees competitive and challenging games in the Sun Palace tournament, as several players have shown significant improvements last year and have moved up to a higher classification, and they will be joined by promising newcomers.