There’s just something about this game of badminton
Half term means no matches to report on: time for some reminiscing instead.
One thing that has already struck me going round the various matches is the friendliness of our league. Yes, people want to win but they want to do it fairly. Manners on court, having respect for your opposition and good grace when we win or lose, are features I have been proud to recognise in all three Blackburn divisions. Our outfits may have changed, our racquets may not be made out of wood and put in to wooden presses anymore, even the way we score the game has altered, but we still play full of commitment and friendliness. We still love to play this game of badminton.
The other thing I have noticed is the longevity of so many of our players. That’s not to say that there aren’t young players being brought in and encouraged, many of them children of badminton playing parents. On the adjacent court to the Blackburn Seniors’ match, it was brilliant to see Rick Smith and Paul Ainger being put through their singles paces by a new recruit from Colne, Brad Savage, a 17 year old star of the future, currently being coached by Alan Clarkson. Likewise, however, at the match at Roefield against St Nicholas, no one could have leapt so eagerly on to the practice court than Dave Vickers when he realised they needed another body to make up four. With his new hip, Dave’s ankles may now take longer to recover the next day than they used to, but his desire to play, to compete, is as fervent as ever it was.
There’s just something about this game of badminton which keeps you going. We must all do our bit to keep playing and encourage others to commit to our sport. At the start of the season we lost two clubs in Harpoons and Roefield B; realistically, our three divisions could have gone down to just two. I know we care about badminton in Blackburn; we must all work hard to support our game, support our league, as much as we can. There are tournaments being organised: enter them. There will be a presentation dance at the end of the season: go to it.
Ok, I’m off my bossy little sister soap box now.
At the match against College and Abacus I met two lovely ladies, Dorothy and Sheila, former College players and regular supporters now of their club. During our chat on players and venues we remembered, I mentioned my father may have some photographic evidence of those times: not only had he pictures, he even had a score sheet! Filled in first in pencil, ever the perfectionist he made a neat copy for handing in at the end of the night. Certainly puts my crossings out and inaccurate adding up to shame! I wonder how many of you can remember the players on the team sheet or name them in the photograph?