Meet the Staff
MBA operates with a small staff including:
Mélanie Curé joined the MBA team in spring 2020, after having spent several years teaching French at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg as a contract instructor. She holds a B.A. (Hons) and a M.A. from the University of Manitoba, and is completing her PhD at the Université de Sherbrooke.
Mel has been coaching badminton for over 20 years and has managed the St-Pierre Badminton Club for over a decade. She has coached and managed regional teams at the Manitoba Winter Games in both 2014 and 2018, and was the manager for Team Manitoba at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. She is especially passionate about grassroots programs and supporting all those who love the game.
The Executive Director is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Association. They prepare documentation and reports, monitor programs and budgets, provide administrative support to the Board of Directors and standing committees. The Director develops and implements the communication and marketing plans, communicates with athletes, members, coaches, officials, Badminton Canada, other PSOs, and related organizations and partners. They implement the stratetic plan set by the Board of Directors, while coordinating events, programs, schedules, materials, marketing, and special initiatives, all the while ensuring that the MBA's vision and mission are kept in focus.
Justin Friesen is Manitoba's current Provincial Coach and has been since 2013. In his role as Provincial Coach, he has assisted athletes at numerous national-level tournament, with the highlights being the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George, B.C., the 2015 Western Canada Summer Games in Wood Buffalo, AB, and the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, AB.
He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology from the University of Winnipeg and is Competition Development Certified (formerly Level 3) in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and a Master Learning Facilitator for the Regional and Provincial Coach Modules in the NCCP.
Coach Friesen is also Manitoba's highest certified umpire, is currently an Accredited Pan Am Umpire, and has had the privilege of umpiring multiple Canadian international-level events and the Swedish Open.
The Provincial Coach is responsible for assisting with the training of Manitoba's top performing athletes through coaching and training support. The role also looks to establish a strong connection with coaches province-wide, to increase overall expertise across the province, and to assist the regions and various communities in running meaninful programs that develop strong athletes and athletes for life.
Member Services & Communications Coordinator
Marj Niemi hails from Lac du Bonnet, where she typically coaches the Lac du Bonnet Badminton Club. A familiar face in the Manitoba Badminton scene for nearly 15 years, Marj currently works part-time with MBA.
She is one of Manitoba's top officials, and has served as Head Referee at many tournaments, including the 2018 Manitoba Winter Games in Thompson, the 2019 Prairie Elite, and the 2018 Prairie Junior Elite. She is a Nationally-Certified Umpire and a National Referee-In-Training.
Outside of badminton, Marj works part-time as the Director of Playtime Nursery School in Whitemouth. During summer, you will find her in the garden or out camping.
The Member Services & Communications Coordinator is responsible for member accounts, website and newsletter info, as well as operations and logistics for provincial tournaments. Marj also helps develop and train badminton officials throughout the province.
For contact information, please visit our contact page.