In this week’s Spotlight On… we’re getting to know our Manchester based badminton club a little bit better!
This year, the club has 24 team members that compete in one women’s team and two men’s teams in the weekly British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues, cup matches and at the annual individual competition at the BUCS Nationals in February.
The club also support our Active Campus programme and, in order to welcome the individuals involved in the programme, have undergone a restructure to unite these social players as an extension of the club.
We spoke to treasurer, Amanda Doherty, to find out more about the club!
What’s the best part about being in your sports club?
“Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world and one of the most popular to play at a social level, being the fourth biggest recreational sport!
“Our club prides itself on diversity and inclusivity, by providing something for everyone. We have a strong familial bond and enjoy playing across all levels of ability.”
How did your club do last year?
“Last year was a tough year for us. We lost some valuable players and that reflected in our performance. However, the team has greatly benefited from the introduction of our coach, Paul Stewart, as he shares his skills and knowledge driving us to success.
“Last year, the Manchester Badminton Interleague (MBI) was created between University of Manchester, University of Salford and MMU to bring performance leagues to non-team members.
“The links we have created between these universities has widened our prospects and provided an opportunity for people who would never get a chance to play badminton competitively. We celebrated the end of this successful year with an awards ceremony and a shield presented to the winning team.
“For the first time, our club integrated with the wider AU, attending socials and the annual sports tour. This has provided us with a network of opportunities and created new friendships with other sports.”
What were the highs and lows from last season?
“Both our men’s teams narrowly missed out on promotion, after being tied at top of the league with a one point difference acting as deciding factor. Our women’s team were unfortunately relegated, a major low. However, this did not deter our positive mentality and this experience brought us closer together.
“Our sports scholar, Jamie Kilgariff, faced off against the 2015 BUCS Nationals winner in a tense match. We were so proud of his achievements during those games with such close scores.”
What are your hopes for 2015/16?
“Our aim is to become a priority sport. Both our men’s teams are currently top of their respective leagues by three point and their hard work and dedication should promise double promotions this season. Our women’s team are safe in their league with a lot of opportunity to climb higher.
“We hope to cement the interlocking of our Active Campus social players and the team. Last year, the Active Campus badminton sessions had the highest footfall across all sports. We also achieved the third highest unique number of participants involved in No Strings Badminton nationally. Overall, this opportunity has expanded our social aspect and created a wider community.”
What on and off the pitch activities do you have coming up for your club?
“Sheffield will host BUCS Nationals in February with players from universities all across the country fighting for the top prize. The weekend will continue our tradition with the teams competing against some of the best. The Saturday night out gives us a chance to mingle with players across all BUCS divisions and leagues.
“Another weekend in March will take us to Birmingham to watch the Yonex All England Badminton Championships. This is a once in a lifetime experience to watch some of our idols and another weekend together as a society doing what we love most.
“We enjoy supporting each other on and off the court and look forward to incorporating Active Campus social players into our wider society.”
If you’d like to find out more about our badminton club, then follow @MMU_Badders on Twitter, or come along to our Active Campus badminton sessions, which return to campus on Monday 18th January. There’s lots more information about that on our website!