Poirier keeps her eyes on the prize

Badminton player carries impressive streak into provincial championships

Advertisement

Advertise with us

Don’t tell Serenity Poirier that streaks are made to be ended.

Read this article for free:

or

Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$4.75 per week*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles
Continue

*Pay $19.00 every four weeks. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled anytime.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/05/2022 (280 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Don’t tell Serenity Poirier that streaks are made to be ended.

The Grade 12 student at Lac du Bonnet Senior School hasn’t dropped a set in her high school badminton career and Poirier is determined to graduate with her flawless record intact. To do so, Poirier needs to end her high school career with a strong performance at this week’s MHSAA’s Provincial Badminton Championships at Prairie Badminton Club (May 5-7).

The junior varsity competitors get started Thursday while varsity action begins Friday.

Supplied Serenity Poirier with coach Dale Kinley.

“I know I’m one of the better athletes that are going to be out there. If someone isn’t as good of an athlete, I try to rally with them and get them moving. Cause you know, for other people to get better, playing against harder competition is what’s going to help,” Poirier told the Free Press over the phone on Wednesday.

“So, I try to be nice, but at the same time, make them work a bit so that helps them improve their skills. I always just make sure that I’m obviously not going to lose first, but I don’t know, I like to help other people as well.”

Poirier’s an impressive athlete across the board as she captained Lac du Bonnet’s varsity basketball and volleyball teams, but badminton is her biggest passion. She started in Grade 5 at a local club in town, but to take her game to the next level, she makes the nearly 90-minute drive to Winnipeg several times a week for additional training.

“It’s the badminton family that I’ve had over the years. After not playing with COVID, it just made me miss it so much more and I really wanted to get back into training and keep playing,” said Poirier.

“I like the community and all the people that I’ve met. It’s just a fun sport and I really like the logical part of badminton. You’ve got to think about what shot you want to hit and what you want to do in every single rally.”

Arguably no one in the badminton community knows Poirier better than her coach, Dale Kinley, as the two have been working together for six years. Poirier used to travel to Stonewall to train with Kinley, but now she heads to Winnipeg as the coach works out of Prairie Badminton Club on De Baets Street.

“There’s more than just her that made the trip from (Lac du Bonnet), but she’s one that has really stuck with it,” said Kinley. “Especially in Manitoba, there’s not many that would do that for badminton. You hear all the time people doing that for hockey and things like that, but there’s not too many in my experience that have made that kind of trip for badminton.”

The trips have paid off as Poirier and mixed-doubles partner Victor Ho from St. John’s-Ravenscourt School were recently a top-five mixed doubles team in Canada. Poirier mostly plays doubles, but this week, her focus is singles.

“There’s not too many players playing at her level,” Kinley said.

“… Years of practice has been a big thing, but just the comfort she has in her footwork, the way she moves, that takes a lot of practice. As much as others are good at that, she’s done it a lot longer than most and that’s super important when you’re trying to play, especially in singles. If you don’t have that footwork, you get tripped up a lot.”

The main thing driving Poirier, who also excels in the classroom with an average of 90 per cent or better in all of her classes, is getting a spot on Manitoba’s badminton team at the 2023 Canada Games in Prince Edward Island. To come from a place with a population of just over 1,000 people and make it to the national stage would be a dream come true.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t know about Lac du Bonnet or think we wouldn’t have any good athletes. Obviously, I have to drive in to train so the Winnipeg kids have more of an advantage, so I think it’s really cool that a small-town person can come in and win,” said Poirier.

The next Canada Games tryout takes place this summer, but Poirier isn’t overlooking this week’s provincials. She still has room in the trophy case despite becoming a triple-crown champion (under-19 girls’ singles, girls’ doubles, and mixed doubles) at the 2021 Manitoba Yonex Junior Provincial Championship last October. She won high school provincials back in Grade 9 but couldn’t repeat as the last two MHSAA provincials were cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. For Poirier, the most important thing about this week isn’t keeping her streak alive, it’s winning the event for her dad, Paul Poirier. Poirier gives her dad credit for making those long car rides possible, being supportive, and teaching her a thing or two as a coach.

“It would mean a lot because my dad coaches me and he just had surgery and was in the hospital for a bit so we weren’t sure if he could even coach,” Poirier said. “So I think he really wants me to win it and I think it would be a really nice thing for me to win… I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without him.”

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
Reporter

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...

Report Error Submit a Tip

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Amateur

LOAD MORE