Badminton New Zealand president Bevan Smith is intent on improving the sport from the bottom all the way to the top.
The Palmerston North man was elected to the job in November and wants to get players performing to show they can cut it with the top 16 in the world.
"We really want a whole new approach to high performance badminton," he said.
"Right down to your age groups, we want to change the culture and the mindset of high performance players to help them understand what it takes to truly be a high performance athlete."
He wants to start introducing the sport at younger ages at schools and get young age-group levels started.
Smith was also working at getting people playing a new form of the game called speedminton, a badminton variant played without a net which can be played outside and at night. He likened it to touch and rugby.
Originally from Masterton, Smith is the voice of the provinces on the board.
Even though there are 27 member associations around the country, Auckland is the "powerhouse" with about 20 per cent of the country's badminton population, compared with Manawatu, which only has about 2-3 per cent.
At the end of 2010, he was on the national board but was voted out of the job before returning as president with a rough vote of 6000 to 4000.
"It wasn't a bad thing," Smith said. "Sometimes, when you've been on a board for a period of time you can't see the forest through the trees. That year out helped me focus a bit."
Hopefully with Smith at the helm the organisation will keep bringing events to Palmerston North, like the North Island junior inter-association championships at Arena Manawatu earlier this month.
"It's great for your players. It's amazing for their development and it's right on their back doorstep."
He is on a two-year term with Badminton New Zealand until November 2013 and he wants to help increase the sport's profile. He said it was the fifth most popular sport in the world, but didn't always get recognition.
A pastor at Crossroads Church, Smith has a lot on his plate as he is also deputy chair of the national board.
He was vice-president of Badminton Manawatu but gave that up and now he runs primary and intermediate school competitions.
He is now "well and truly a masters players" at 47 and is looking forward to getting into the veterans' grade when he reaches 50.
- © Fairfax NZ News