USA Para-Badminton hosted camp and clinic in South Dakota

Sept. 11, 2018, 12:55 p.m. (ET)

USAB Para-Badminton Athletes

Over the recent Labor Day Weekend, six Para-badminton athletes from New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and South Dakota converged on Sioux Falls, SD for a 3-day training camp coached by Pallav Deka. Players went through a variety of drills and a series of matches over the course of the extended weekend, showing great improvement during the short time.  The camp was hosted at EmBe (, a local Sioux Falls non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women and families to enrich lives. 

Participating in the camp were recent Brazil International Tournament medalists Miles Krajewski (SD), Katherine Valli (PA) and Dawson McClure (OK) as well Jake Petruzzelli (NY) and Colleen & Ryan Gioffreda (MD), all of whom also competed in the USA Para-badminton International in October 2017. 
All six of the participants compete in the SS6 class, which is expected to be the class with the largest participation at the 2018 Pan Am Championships in Lima, Peru in November.  If the recent Brazil Para-badminton International is any indication, the SS6 class will also be one of the most competitive classes in each of the five events (Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles).

With two months to go until the 2018 Pan Am Championships, the players took advantage of this opportunity to continue developing their skills in a concentrated format. The camp also provided them the ability to increase their experiences by playing matches against other short stature players.

Speaking about the camp, Deka said, “Individual attention and feedback based on each player’s strengths and weaknesses were provided. The camp focused on improving technical skills such as stroke execution and footwork, as well as developing match playing strategies. Overall it was a very productive weekend and I am proud of the progress made by all of the players.”

In all, Team USA will be taking 11 athletes to Lima in November. It will mark the largest participation by the United States at an international para-badminton tournament and the debut of both Laura Schwartz (SL3) and Jayci Simon (SS6).  Team USA will be represented by the following athletes:

WH1: Amy Burnett (TN) 
SL3: Laura Schwartz (CA) 
SL4: Eric Johnson (MN), Richard Alcaraz (AZ)
SS6: Miles Krajewski (SD), Dawson McClure (OK), Ryan Gioffreda (MD), Jake Petruzzelli (NY), Katherine Valli (PA), Colleen Gioffreda (MD), and Jayci Simon (MI)

Badminton is a "sport for all," including people with an impairment or disability AND IS NOW A PARALYMPIC SPORT! Para-Badminton is easy to learn and there are competitions for wheelchair and standing classes. Want to know more? Interested in playing or competing in para-badminton? Please contact Steve Kearney at or visit 

(Picture From Left to Right: Dawson McClure, Katherine Valli, Jake Petruzzelli, Miles Krajewski, Ryan Gioffreda. Not pictured: Colleen Gioffreda)