Shooting victim was 'longtime friend' to Ontario's badminton community

Kevin Willington is being remembered by colleagues as a fixture of the badminton sport scene in Ontario.  (Submitted - image credit)
Kevin Willington is being remembered by colleagues as a fixture of the badminton sport scene in Ontario. (Submitted - image credit)

An Ottawa man who was shot dead Friday night is being remembered by his colleagues as a devoted badminton coach who'd been nationally recognized for his training efforts.

Kevin Willington, 53, was killed at a house in Manor Park in what police consider to be a targeted killing.

"I am still processing the shock," said fellow badminton coach Janet Hugli in an email to CBC on the weekend.

Emergency crews were called to the area just north of the Beechwood Cemetery in central Ottawa around 9:20 p.m. on Friday.

They found Willington with life-threatening injuries. He died at the scene shortly after and his death is under investigation.


Willington received this award from the Coaching Association of Canada last year. (Submitted)

Hugli and Dominic Soong, co-founders of a local badminton academy, said via email that Willington was "an excellent example of a sport builder" who volunteered thousands of hours developing coaches across the province.

"Kevin demonstrated his passion for badminton with players and coaches of all ages and all levels, and helped the players and coaches develop confidence as their skills progressed," they said.

"He will be greatly missed."

In 2023, the Coaching Association of Canada recognized Willington for his work delivering badminton-specific National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) training to other coaches.

According to Brian Tjoa, the executive director of Badminton Ontario, Willington mentored hundreds of coaches across the province.

He was a "longtime friend to the whole badminton community," Tjoa said via email.

Willington's death marks Ottawa police's third homicide case of the year.  No arrests or suspects have been announced.

A search of Ontario property records shows Willington was not the owner of the home police had taped off.

Minute of silence planned

The Kanata Badminton Club, where Willington was a longtime member, shared the call from police for information about what happened.

"We will miss his friendly face, his gentle banter, and of course his passion for badminton," the club added in an email to members on Sunday.

Players meeting at Earl of March Secondary School will hold a minute of silence in Willington's honour on Monday night.