Meet the Staff
MBA operates with a small permanent team 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.
Our summer programming would not be possible without the work of our committed seasonal staff.
Seasonal Program Coordinator
Kevin Barkman is primarily working on the development and implementation of new summer initiatives, while also co-coordinating our summer camps. While this is Kevin's first year working with our camps, he is no stranger to our efforts, having previously coached for the organization on several occasions both in Winnipeg and around the province in remote communities, working with grassroots athletes as well as high-performance programs.
Kevin is both Regional- and Provincial-Coach Certified, a Competition-Development Coach In-Training, as well as a Learning Facilitator and Coach Developer In-Training. Kevin has coached around the world and worked with some of Canada's top junior athletes in western Canada. He also has coached in clubs in the United States, China, and the Philippines. This upcoming winter, he will be coaching Team South at the 2022 Manitoba Winter Games in Niverville.
A current member of the MBA's Team Manitoba, Kevin represented the province at the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George. With tournaments slowly approaching, he looks forward to getting back to national and international competition in the fall.
Summer Camp Coordinator
Kyi Nichols is coordinating this year's summer camps in Winnipeg, as well as facilitating upcoming summer clinics. This is Kyi's second season as a summer camp coordinator, and fourth as a summer camp coach.
A trained and certified Regional Coach, Kyi is a certified Shuttle Time coach and is now starting his Provincial Coach training. He is also a Regional Umpire-in-Training.
Kyi is a current MBA Team Manitoba athlete, and represented our province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer. He has also represented the province at the Western Canadian Team Championships on three occasions.
Kyi just completed his second year at the University of Manitoba, and is looking forward to returning to competition in the fall.
Summer Camp Head Coach
Dale Kinley is back for another summer leading on-court activities as our summer camp. This is Dale's third fifth seventh ninth year coaching these camps and each year may be funner than the last.
Dale is both Regional- and Provincial-Coach Certified, a Competition-Development Coach In Training, as well as a Learning Facilitator In-Training. Prior to his coaching position at Prairie Badminton, Dale operated and was the head coach of the Interlake Badminton Club in Stonewall, Manitoba. This upcoming winter, he will return to the Manitoba Winter Games once again as Head Coach of Team East.
In 2015, Dale was part of the Manitoba contingent at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, BC. Still active on the provincial and national scenes, he took home the Provincial Mixed Doubles title with his partner Katherine Lee in both 2017 and 2018, only narrowly missing a three-peat in 2019 when they were stopped in the semi-finals by the eventual winners. We look forward to watching this long-time coach take another run at the title in 2022.
Summer Camp Coach
Emalia Sinclair is with us again this summer, her second coaching our summer camps full-time.
A Regional Coach In-Training, Emalia is a 2020 recipient of Coaching Manitoba's Women to Watch Grant, which supports developing coaches further their training so that they can give back to their communities. Emalia is looking forward to being a Certified Regional Coach in August 2021, after which she will focus on her return to the upcoming Manitoba Winter Games, this time as a coach for Winnipeg Blue rather than an athlete on Team West.
Emalia currently trains as a member of Team Manitoba, alongside Kevin and Kyi. She represented the province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer and is currently the top-ranked female shuttler here in Manitoba. Participants in this year's All-Girls Camp can look forward to Emalia leading the coaching squad on that second week of August.
Summer Camp Coach
Serenity Poirier is excited to be back with us again this summer. She joined the camp team in the 2020 season as a Developing Coach and is now looking forward to spending more time on court helping athletes grow and develop.
A Regional Coach In-Training, Serenity enjoys introducing young players to the game she loves. Like most of her co-coaches, she is a member of the MBA's Team Manitoba and is eager to get back to provincial and national competition this fall. Serenity still holds the U17 Girls' Singles title along with the U19 Mixed Doubles title here in Manitoba, and we look forward to seeing her defend it at the next Junior Provincials.
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