After Team GB’s first medal in badminton for over 10 years, the uptake on badminton, locally, has increased significantly. Nottinghamshire are driving key initiatives around junior badminton and making a significant push to introduce new clubs into the league structure, writes Andy Shaw.
Utilising social media, local press and the internet are key to moving these initiatives forwards.
Here at Mapperley Park Badminton Club, the use of social media, local online publications and our own website, have helped us to grow our membership base significantly in the last 4 years.
This summer has seen us take in more new members than any other previous year, with nine new players (two juniors). This includes seven new ladies that have come to us from all over the county (and one just outside) We have added two extra teams, a 4th ladies team and 6th mixed team. Taking the total number of teams in the club to thirteen.
For the ladies, the new additions and the extra team will allow greater flexibility, where strength in depth has always been an issue. It will, without doubt, give the captains some tough choices this year when it comes to team selection.
The addition of two new men will greatly improve the 2nd men’s team, hopefully giving captain Con Truong the squad to propel them back into division 1. And the creation of a 6th mixed team will give greater opportunity to our juniors and those not currently playing mixed in the league.
It was a disappointing 15/16 season by the clubs standards, hopefully the additions and restructuring will set the club back on the winning path.
The season opened with the newly promoted 3rd ladies taking on the 2nd ladies in Division 2. As expected it was a tough learning curve for the 3rd team, losing 9-0 to a stronger 2nd team. There were two debuts for the 2nd team, Helen Smith and Anji Henderson. The 3rd ladies then travelled to Beeston Fields and suffered their second defeat in 10 days, losing 6-3. The 2nd ladies team then travelled to St Giles, Lisa Crouch back after absence, and secured another 9-0 victory.
The 1st ladies, boosted by the addition of Charlotte Close, opened their season away at Chilwell. They recorded a well-deserved 7-2 victory. Louisa Truong, partnering Charlotte Close, took all three rubbers.
A new look 3rd mixed team, captained by Kath Sutton after a one year absence, has started strongly. A 9-0 win away at Chilwell was followed by an 8-1 home success against Nottingham University.
After the disappointment of missing out on promotion last season, 2nd mixed were looking for a good start away at Byron. Despite James Watkins being unavailable they came away with a 6-3 victory, Nat Wright and Matt Haigh scoring a maximum.
5th mixed reward for promotion was an opening fixture against the 4th team. The latter coming away with a narrow 5-4 victory, showing the strength in depth the club currently has.
One of two new teams this season, 6th mixed, got their season underway at Redhill, captained by Maxine Day, they recorded a 6-3 victory, with all three pairs taking two rubbers.
The 1st men’s opened their season away at Forest in the Premier division. Andy Shaw had a full strength team at his disposal. They produced the performance of the season so far, winning 6-3 an early boost in their bid to remain in the Premier division for the third straight season.
After a disappointing campaign last season the 2nd men’s were looking to get off to a strong start this time round. An opening fixture, away, against Crusader presented an opportunity to gather early momentum. A strong all round performance, with debutant Fred Thuaud impressing, ended with a resounding 8-1 victory.