Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club (MBBC) had a great affiliation with the players and clubs in Mexico and Canada. Out of this came an adult Open tournament that went on to become the US Open. In 1993, the MBBC Junior International Badminton Tournament was started by Wes Schoppe with the help of a few club members to provide an international experience for young badminton players and to help to spotlight the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club as well as build relationships between countries and persons from throughout the world for generations to come.
The junior tournament was created to fill the void of international and local events at the time and to draw into the club the countries involved in the newly formed Pan American Badminton Confederation. On at least one occasion the event doubled as the Junior Pan American Championships. The tournament flourished most years and was visited by players from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Oceana, and North America.
The atmosphere of the MBBC along with the chance to play strong international players led the tournament to be guiding light for other events in the zone. International player participation is memorialized with the country flags of the players displayed on the wall next to court 1. Over the years, most of the players who represented their countries in the Olympics and National Teams from the Pan American zone have graced the courts here in Manhattan Beach.
The event continues to be fun, competitive and a great way to make life-long friends in our sport.