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In Brief: Reidy aim to boost game

BADMINTON: Ex-pro and Olympian Tom Reidy is the new high performance director of Badminton Ireland.

The appointment follows a decision by Badminton Ireland to strengthen its high performance team after a successful London Olympics where, for a second Games, two Irish players were in action.

Reidy, originally from Adare, Co Limerick, played for the USA in the men's doubles at the 1992 Olympic Games.

He then moved to Sweden where he played professionally for two years before beginning a distinguished career as a coach, most recently working at the Swedish National Badminton Centre.

Reidy has already taken the Irish squad for one session at the National Training Centre in Marino. In his new role, he will make regular visits to Dublin from his Swedish base.

Current performance manager Michael Watt from Belfast moves to the position of Programmes Manager, taking care of administration and paperwork.

Dublin-based Dan Magee continues as national coach, answering to Reidy and managing the high performance centre.

Along with Badminton Ireland CEO Richard Vaughan, the trio will make up the Badminton Ireland High Performance Committee.

VOLLEYBALL: With half the season gone, both the men's and women's premier divisions are dominated by two teams, with the final outcome impossible to call. In the women's league, Santry beat DVC before Christmas and with both teams suffering only one loss they are tied on points, although DVC have the edge on set difference.

Similarly in the men's league, where UCD are ahead of Aer Lingus on set difference.

Aer Lingus lost their first match of the season to Ballymun Patriots but a clean record since and victory over UCD in their final match before the holiday break means their hopes of a comeback after a few years in the wilderness are very much alive.

Although the league resumes next weekend, it could come down to the return matches between these teams in April.

SWIMMING: After completing his Oceans Seven challenge, Irish

long distance swimmer Stephen Redmond has won the World Open Water Association's Swimmer of the Year award. Redmond's heroic efforts to complete the swim, making four attempts on the Tsugaru Challenge from Honshu to Hokkaido in Japan, was also nominated in the Performance of the Year category.

Redmond, from Co Cork, failed in his initial two attempts but after a massive fund-raising effort, made a second trip to Japan. On his first attempt at the 12.5 mile channel, big winds forced him to abandon but his next try went like a dream.

The 47-year-old ex-rugby player became the first person ever to complete the Oceans Seven Challenge -- seven of the most difficult open sea swims in the world -- after starting with the English Channel in August 2009.

SNOOKER: Celbridge begin their defence of the All-Ireland club snooker title when they attempt to qualify from the Leinster Championships in the Ivy Rooms, Carlow, this weekend.

In all, 18 teams, divided into four groups, have entered the competition. Celbridge play in a group that includes a strong team from Kilkenny. Other teams in contention include 147 Wexford and the hosts.

Next weekend the senior ranking series resumes in Carlow, with David Hogan of Nenagh currently topping the rankings.

*Places on the Irish U21 team for the European Championships in March are at stake at the RIBSA U21 Cue School in Carlow on January 19.

Currently top of the rankings are Ryan Cronin (Crucible Cork), Andy McCloskey (Nenagh), Josh Boileau (Newbridge CYMS) and Ross Doyle (Dublin).

TENNIS: Ex-Davis Cup player Colin O'Brien won the men's singles title at the Wilson National Indoor Championships in David Lloyd Riverview, Dublin.

After an untroubled passage to the final, O'Brien beat John Morrissey over three sets after dropping the middle set and being forced into a tie-break in the third.

In the women's decider, the unseeded Jane Fennelly put out the No 2 seed Karola Bejenu in the semi-finals and Holly Monahan in the final.

No surprises in the doubles, with John Morrissey pairing up with David O'Hare to win the men's title, while Jane Fennelly and Grainne O'Neill were the women's winners.

p Tickets for Ireland's Davis Cup match against Estonia at David Lloyd Riverview on February 1-3 are now for sale.