Hunter Badminton Association ace Xin Yuan Yang

STATE: Hunter Badminton Association's Xin Yuan Yang will represent NSW at the Australian Under 15 Championships in the Northern Territory from September 30. Picture: Josh Callinan.

STATE: Hunter Badminton Association's Xin Yuan Yang will represent NSW at the Australian Under 15 Championships in the Northern Territory from September 30. Picture: Josh Callinan.

FAST feet.

It’s a short and simple mantra that has and continues to serve 14-year-old Xin Yuan Yang well.

The Hunter Badminton Association rising star has gained selection in the state junior squad to contest the Australian Under-15 Championships in the Northern Territory from September 30.

It will be his first shot at that level, both individual and teams, but one thing remains the same for Yang.

“Dad has always said footwork, footwork, footwork,” Yang said. “If you haven’t got fast feet then you won’t make the shuttle.”

The family was where it all started for Yang, with a badminton net built at home.

This turned into competition at the University and in more recent seasons at the sport’s Hunter headquarters in Wickham. 

The year 8 student at Merewether High School has kept improving and on the back of strong performances and three weekly training sessions, now earns his first representative honours.

Association president Tony Morgan reckons Yang is the first representative player out of the Hunter in at least five years.

Yang’s next aim is the club A-grade title.

*MAITLAND Rams duo Wade Harry and Bradley Paterson have been selected in the under-16 Australian Schoolboys squad to tour Europe in May.

The striker and goalkeeper respectively were picked up after representing their NSW age group at the recent School Sport Australia championships.

Harry (Taree) and Paterson (Port Macquarie) travel down from the Mid North Coast each week to play in the Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League.

They will be joined in the national squad by Floraville 15-year-old Ky Willott, who is set to line up for Norths in Saturday’s first grade grand final against defending champions Gosford at Newcastle International Hockey Centre.

*GOLF, hockey, netball and athletics have been added to the program for next year’s Pacific School Games, which return to Adelaide.

Basketball, diving, football, goalball, softball, swimming and touch football retain their positions from the 2015 event. Baseball and table tennis will not feature this time around.

It will be the tenth Pacific Schools Games with around 4000 students expected to participate across 10 days of competition from December 1.

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