Brittney Stratuliak and Payton Dudar played badminton together for the first time in Grade 6 at Ethelbert School.
Due to the pandemic, they did not get the chance to play together again until Grade 9. They worked hard to hone their skills and keep each other positive when they went up against difficult teams.
Last year, their hard work paid off and Stratuliak and Dudar were given the opportunity to travel to Winnipeg for the provincial championships, where they battled hard and ended up securing a fourth place finish.
This year, Stratuliak and Dudar set an even higher goal, top two. They challenged themselves throughout the competitive season in various competitions where they played up in the senior category. When they qualified for provincials, they were excited that they were given the opportunity to reach their goal. They were on their way back to Winnipeg, May 4 to 6, and they knew they were going to be up against some tough teams. Being an A school, at times it was daunting being matched up against AA, AAA and AAAA teams, but they kept their heads held high, finishing second in their pool after the round-robin.
Entering playoffs, Stratuliak and Dudar were determined to try their best and enjoy the experience.
The final game against Reston was a true battle for first. Losing the first set, Stratuliak and Dudar were determined to give them a tough game and worked hard to win the second set. By the third set, both teams could see that first-place finish.
The girls from Ethelbert played hard and secured silver, the first provincial finalists for Ethelbert badminton since 1978.