CLUB OF THE WEEK: White Horse Badminton Club
6:00am Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Latest News
IT’S the fastest and most popular racquet sport in the world.
Teamwork, tactics and adrenalin combine to give it the description of chess with a racquet. Players must have the quickest reactions to volley a shuttlecock sometimes flying at over 240mph.
The sport is badminton, and the White Horse Badminton Club is as passionate a sports club as you will find.
A turnout of 25 members to an evening session at the Lime Kiln in Wootton Bassett shows that the club is thriving.
Chairman Mike Brewser admits there are lessons that the sport as a whole could learn, however.
“There is such a high level of interest in badminton, but the sport hasn’t been adapting with the times and therefore has been steadily contracting,” he said.
“The top players receive very little prizemoney or funding, and countries in the Far East have moved ahead.
“There was an explosion of interest in the UK after the success of Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson at the Athens Olympics, but I don’t think the sport has developed in terms of performance or publicity on the back of that.
“Here at White Horse, we have a unique approach and therefore we are growing rapidly. We welcome everyone, the juniors can play alongside the seniors and our main aim is to give everyone a good time playing badminton.
“We have excellent coaching with specific training sessions on different aspects of the game and the focus is always on fun.”
So why hasn’t Britain hasn’t won medals in badminton since 2004 and what could change the sport in this country for the better?
“For many nations in the Far East, badminton is the national sport, and so the funding and training involved is phenomenal,” said Brewser.
“I would like to see badminton become more commercialised in this country, as it’s a great sport and deserves to have more sponsorship so that top players aren’t self-funding their careers and we can get back to winning medals.
“There is virtually no money channelled into the sport in this country, and this will not help it grow in the future.”
With a coach who has represented England on the Masters Circuit at World and European Championship level, it is no wonder that White Horse is the biggest badminton club in Wiltshire, boasting 120 members.
Steve Hulbert has been impressed with what he has found at the club since becoming a full-time part of the setup earlier this year.
“White Horse is unusual in that it is so inclusive,” he said.
“Most clubs are elitist in who they want playing for them and aren’t very interested in encouraging juniors or newcomers to get involved.
“The club’s distinctive approach in blending the juniors and seniors helps to make sure that young players remain interested when they grow out of the junior sections.”
In addition to the sessions at Lime Kiln, the club holds regular training at the Oasis in Swindon. The club’s five men’s teams, two ladies’ teams and four mixed teams are experiencing success in the Swindon and District League and the coaches have noticed strong potential in the youth members.
In a bid to convince people to try out badminton, the club offers a free first session to anyone who wants to get a taste for the sport.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comments are closed on this article.