Posted on 5th June 2023
By Hugh Ainsley
The final event of the season for SSBU took place at Perth on Saturday 3 June. This was the delayed primary school championships which had originally been scheduled for coronation day.
111 players had entered and when the draws were done there were perfect draws of 64 for the boys singles and 32 for the girls.
Things never work out as planned and unfortunately some players had to withdraw and high seeded players pulled out in boys singles, girls singles and boys doubles. However there were still plenty of matches and it was no easy task to run an event where players were playing one game to 21 points on 15 courts at the same time.
Three pool managers were called into action running 5 courts each with Maria Hadden looking after the top 8 pools of boys, Sebastian Tua taking the other boys pools and Frank Turnbull taking all the girls pools. Douglas Walker and Irene Blair were roving referee/shuttle control and Elaine Stalker manned the tombola stall. Nicky Ainsley ran round the courts collect scoresheets so that the results could be put in to the main computer.
The three top seeds made it to the semi finals in the boys singles with Donald Coull from West End Primary in Elgin defeating 2 of the lower seeds to earn him a semi final match against top seed Dylan Jia (George Watson’s) Dylan proved just too strong however and got through to the final to take on second seed Calum Tsang (Scotstoun). Calum was having a good day and took the final with a scoreline of 21-17.
On to the girls where again the top three seeds all made it to the semi final. Top seed Jaagruti Mannem (Our Lady of the Mission Primary) took on Emily Jobson (Sciennes Primary) in the top half of the draw, while in the bottom half Arisha Manir (Halfmerke Primary) took on Akshara Chavan (Mosshead Primary). Arisha took advantage of the absence of second seed Elona Kennedy to make it through to the final where she came up against an on form Jaagruti who showed no mercy in winning the final 21-4. With Arisha being 2 and a half years younger she is certainly one to watch for next year.
The afternoon session was for doubles. Unfortunately we are now getting a much lower entry for doubles in the championships as for this event players must play with a partner from their own school so that they are true school champions. 25 pairs entered the boys doubles and 14 pairs entered the girls doubles. In the boys event Aayush Nagdeve and Aarav Sinha (Aberdeen) were seeded ¾ but in the first round of the knock-out they came up against a strong pair from Hazlehead Primary – Leo Gaunt and Lucas Nairn. Leo and Lucas won 21-16 but immediately came up against top seeds Calum Tsang and Nathan Wong (Scotstoun).
Calum had already shown his form in singles and the Scotstoun pair took a 21-13 victory and proceeded through to the final to take on second seeds Yiming Feng and Yingfan Wang (Buckstone Primary). The final was quite close but Calum took his second title with a 21-18 victory.
All four seeded pairs got through the pools in the girls doubles but with Sophie Mackay and Myah Macleod (Castletown Primary) winning the fourth pool, three of the four seeded pairs ended up in the bottom half of the draw. Akshara Chavan and Reeya Kukreja (Mosshead Primary) had finished second in pool 4 which left them taking on second seed Emily Jobson and Krithi Subr (Sciennes Primary). Akshara and Reeya won the quarter final 21-10 and then took on Emma Joshua and Giselle Lee (Edinburgh) in the semi final.
Akshara and Reeya won the semi final 21-17 but Jaagruti and Hannah were one step too far so Jaagruti was also a double winner.
A special mention for double winners Calum Tsang & Jaagruti Mannem! 👏
It is now time for SSBU to pack up for summer but a full schedule of events will start again in the autumn. We hope all of our players will have a good summer and we look forward to seeing them all again in the new season.