|BADMINTON England Regional Officer’s Report
|Benfield Manager’s Report
|Business Sub-committee Report
|Senior Competitive Play Report
|League Secretary’s Report
|Junior Competitive Play Report
|Coaching Co-ordinator’s Report
|Schools Sub-committee Report
|Clubs Sub-committee Report
I have to say that my fifth year as chairman has been the most exciting to date in respect of the potential for development of badminton in our area.
NBA has been fortunate in having the use of Benfield as our “home” for the past dozen or so years and I am sure this has had a positive impact on badminton activity in our area. However we have only had the right to hall usage on three evenings and one weekend day per week. For the past number of years it has become apparent that our income from our usage was unable to keep pace with the increased charges from the City Council leading to losses.
The initiative to open a dedicated badminton hall, developed by a Community Investment Company (a non profit making entity), noted at previous meetings, is now becoming a reality and it is hoped that the Tyneside Badminton Centre, already providing a three court facility, will start operating with nine courts when the building project is completed in August 2013.
Your Management Committee has given careful consideration to the opportunities afforded by using this new dedicated badminton facility in comparison with continuing our operations at Benfield and decided that we should invest in and move our base to the new Tyneside Badminton Centre.
NBA events will be able to take place based on seven days a week court availability as apposed to the limited access we had to work with at Benfield. We will also only pay for court time that we use unlike Benfield where we paid an annual charge whether the hall was fully utilised or not.
We are looking forward to the greater opportunities that will be available for badminton development from the start of the new season in September. We also hope that the new centre will prove to be a catalyst for the development of badminton throughout our area.
We are still continuing to encourage greater participation by clubs within the association through the Clubs Committee. It is to be hoped that clubs setting up pathways for the juniors now playing in schools will succeed in helping them to make the transition into senior club play. We would like to encourage more clubs to establish their own junior club sections and although this can sometimes prove to be a slow process, there are signs of success. If any club would like to set up a junior club/section please get in touch with Steve Porter.
As previously noted, holding our AGM closer to the end of the competitive season allows us to deal with any issues that have arisen during the season, whilst they are still fresh in everyone’s minds. It also gives us the opportunity to put in place any changes in good time for the next season. Again as a consequence it has not been possible to complete our annual accounts for the year just ended, in time for this AGM and it is proposed, like last year, that the accounts be presented to an EGM to be held immediately before the League AGM scheduled for early in September.
Again this year, without wishing to duplicate the information set out by others in this Annual Report, I would like to use my report to mention and thank our great band of “county volunteers”, record a number of my personal highlights of the season and also note a few areas of concern.
Senior County: the first team has had a really successful season and gained promotion as division champions! The second team, after a tough campaign, has managed to retain their position in their division. Players from both teams are to be congratulated for the way in which they have competed throughout the season.
Juniors: It has also proved to be a difficult year for our players but the U13 team managed to get to the National Team Challenge finals, although due to bad weather they were unable to travel! Thanks must go to Richard Taylor, parents, team managers and also the juniors’ coaching team. Special congratulations to Benfield High School, Cramlington High School, Heaton Manor High School and the Royal Grammar School on reaching the Center Parcs National Schools competition finals.
Competitions: congratulations to everyone involved in our comprehensive programme of matches and tournaments, which ranges from the youngest BE age group up to the Senior Gold, not forgetting our very popular graded events and our County Leagues. Sincere thanks go to Steve Abbott, Alison Thompson and Richard Taylor together with all of the other volunteers. Special thanks to those who helped with the graded tournaments particularly Andy McGill and Steve Porter but we really do need more tournament organisers for next season if our graded competition programme is to continue at its current level. Can your club step in and organise a graded tournament? Help will be given to set you on the right track and it could raise funds for your club!
Development: thanks are due to Lynsey Edwards our BE Regional Officer, for all of her hard work and in particular her efforts within the Community Badminton Networks. Due to the recent Sport England funding review for the next four year period, Badminton England has been forced to restructure their regional officers and new roles have been created. This will lead to the officers having to cover greater geographical areas and we will in future be working with three officers covering CBNs/PCs, Leisure Centres and Workforce Development. We are fortunate that we will still be working with Lynsey in respect of CBNs and PCs. It is likely that under the new structure more work will find its way to County volunteers. Thanks to Mike Woodward and his helpers for their work in promoting and consolidating the “Super Series” events for our juniors. The main thrust of our Development Plan is still to put the players first and identify the support inputs needed to help in this aim. In order to deliver development in the future we are working through our Business Committee to help raise funds and to support our development initiatives.
Performance Centre: well done to the volunteers, Head Coach and coaching team of the Newcastle Performance Centre (PC), now nearing the end of their fifth season. I continue to hope that within the next few years both clubs and county teams will benefit from the output of talented youngsters from the centre. However more work is necessary to ensure we produce young players, with a strong club base, that are dedicated to excel in our sport.
Benfield Centre for Sporting Excellence: the centre again was the focal point of our activities throughout the season but we now look forward to the opportunities the move to the Tyneside Badminton Centre will provide. We will of course work with the Benfield Sports Centre Manager to ensure that the playing of badminton, both junior and senior continues at Benfield.
Now for my usual rallying call, looking at the massive amount of work that the association is carrying out, it is even more apparent that if we wish to progress the development of badminton in our region and particularly with our opportunities at the Tyneside Badminton Centre, we need more volunteer support. Thank you to those that have stepped forward to help this year and to all of you that have continued to “put in the hours”. As in previous years, can I again appeal for more volunteer help? Please contact Norma, myself or any member of the Management Committee if you feel that you may be able to commit some time, however small, to help our efforts.
Finally thank you to all of the Management Committee members, especially to Norma and Julie for their dedicated work in keeping the administration and the finances of the Association under control.
Please read all of the contents of the Annual Report, it contains a wealth of detail regarding the work and achievements of the Association in 2012/13 and please also make it readily available to all of your members. If you have any questions on the content please feel free to raise them with the appropriate chairperson.
I hope you have an enjoyable summer and come back refreshed and looking forward to a rewarding and successful 2013/14 season.
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE 2012-2013
The Management Committee consisted of the President, Chairman, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer, and 8 other members, all elected at the last Annual General Meeting. Members have been responsible for the following duties as well as all serving on various Sub-Committees and other Groups.
|D. Gray||Chairman, Manager of Benfield Badminton Centre, represents NBA at Community Badminton Network (CBN) Management Committee meetings.|
|Mrs N. Waterfield||Hon. Secretary, Assistant for U19 Junior Tournament, represents NBA at CBN Management Committee meetings.|
|Miss J. Brown||Hon. Treasurer.|
|S. Abbott||Vice Chairman, Competition Co-ordinator, County Match Secretary, Chairman of County Selectors, Secretary and Referee of Northumberland Restricted Championships and Upper Divisions Tournament, Referee of North East Gold and Silver Tournaments, Northumberland Open Masters (Veterans) Tournament and U19 Tournament and Team Event, County Representative at BADMINTON England General Meetings.|
|Mrs D. Chipchase||Schools Co-ordinator.|
|S. Porter||Clubs Co-ordinator, Secretary of North East Gold and Silver Tournaments, Secretary and Referee of NBA Graded Tournaments, County Selector.|
|R. Taylor||Junior County Co-ordinator, Junior Fixtures Co-ordinator, Chair of Business Sub-Committee, Secretary of BADMINTON England Junior Age Group Tournaments and of U19 Tournament.|
|Mrs A. Thompson||Senior Leagues Secretary and Referee, County Selector.|
|Hon. Assistant Secretary, Registration Secretary, Assistant for U19 Tournament, represents NBA at CBN Management Committee meetings.|
|M. Woodward||Coaching Co-ordinator (for part of season), Child Welfare Officer, Secretary and Referee of Junior Super Series.|
|Miss L. Edwards||BADMINTON England Regional Officer for Northumberland (until 31 March 2013).|
Last season there were 24 Senior Clubs affiliated to this Association and also to BADMINTON England (in the case of Berwick Springhill Club, to the Scottish Badminton Union), and 6 Junior Clubs including the Newcastle Performance Centre.
Playing in our Leagues last season were 5 Durham Clubs affiliated to Durham County Badminton Association.
As well as the above affiliated clubs, a number of clubs/groups not affiliated to BADMINTON England, have registered with NBA and have paid a County registration fee. Their details appear on the NBA website. These clubs are:
Senior – ABC, Alnwick BC, Ponteland Adults, Walbottle Adults
Junior – Flightpath, Ponteland Juniors, Walbottle Juniors, Willowburn Junior Club, Alnwick
Various clubs have their own successful Junior sections, including Newcastle Medicals, Elmfield, Morpeth Riverside, The Parks and Hexham BC. There are still a number of other organised clubs/groups throughout the County, both Senior and Junior, which NBA will endeavour to contact and support.
Sadly, Whitley Bay BC, a successful Premier Club a couple of years ago, folded this season, being succeeded by a casual Pay and Play group. A number of other clubs have clearly been struggling to survive during the season due to falling numbers and increased costs.
Please note that the results of many events and matches can be found on the excellent NBA website, as well as a huge amount of other information:
Northumberland Badminton Association is most grateful to Andy McGill for managing our County’s impressive website. Thanks also must go to all other contributors who regularly update information. Anyone who has news items/information for the website should in the first instance contact the Hon Secretary.
b e Regional Officer’S Report
This season I have been working hard to support the CBNs to work towards the BADMINTON England 16+ targets, whilst the regional team has been through a massive restructure which has changed the way we will be working with the county associations, clubs and CBNs.
The development work of the Regional Officer was centred on the CBNs and this year the whole of Northumberland was covered with the establishment of the new Tynedale CBN. As well as this new CBN, I am delighted to announce that Berwick Community Junior Badminton Club has become the latest club to achieve Premier Club status, following in the footsteps of John Watt Academy, North Tyneside Badminton Academy, Tyneside Sharks, Elmfield Badminton Club, St Gabriel’s Badminton Club and Newcastle Medicals.
The Center Parcs National Schools Championships were hugely successful once again. The standard of play in the Tyne and Wear Key Stage (KS) 4 County Round deserves special mention, with the boys’ semi-finals between Benfield, RGS, John Spence and Heaton Manor all going down to the last game. Thanks to the School Games Organisers who ensured an even higher entry this year, as well as the volunteers and young officials who made the county rounds run smoothly. Once again Northumbria University played host to the Regional Round. The KS3 Boys competition proved particularly interesting with a three-way tie on matches between Benfield, Egglescliffe and Cramlington Learning Village (CLV). CLV were crowned winners on games won, making it their first Regional title and first time to qualify for the National Finals. In the KS3 Girls Competition, surprised County winners Heaton Manor shocked (themselves) even further by winning the Regional round and qualifying for their first National Finals too. The KS4 Competition was once again won by Benfield (boys) and RGS (girls) to mark another year of qualifying for the National Finals. In the National Finals the schools results were as follows: Cramlington Learning Village 9th, Heaton Manor 9th, Benfield 6th and RGS 6th.
Premier League 4 Sport has continued to support badminton after-school clubs in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead. The satellite clubs have once again proved very successful, being Newcastle FCs most popular PL4S sport. The support of PL4S will be continuing into next year as well.
Last summer saw the greatest sporting event, the Olympics, being hosted in London. Following the hype of the Olympics, the Yorkshire and North East team launched a new beginner’s programme to attract new players to the sport, TryBadminton. The programme offered 6 weeks of coaching for £20 and a free racket. Initial programmes started immediately after the Olympics finished, with sessions at Benfield, John Spence, Sporting Club Cramlington, Willowburn LC and Wentworth LC. The success of the programme was unprecedented, with more courses being rolled out across the region in October and January. So far in Northumberland 12 courses have been delivered with over 150 new players attending.
The TryBadminton courses have all been linked to existing No Strings or Club sessions, or alternatively have been used to start new sessions. North Tyneside CBN was disappointed to lose a Premier Club this season, when Whitley Bay Badminton Club folded. However a new social club has been established from the successful TryBadminton course run in August. The new social club is now being supported by John Spence High School. In Cramlington, the TryBadminton sessions continue as a pay and play session. Sessions at Willowburn, Wentworth and Benfield were all used to feed existing clubs and No Strings.
In Newcastle, we have been in the third year of the Higher Education Officer (HEO) programme at Northumbria University and will continue to support the programme by combining the HEO with the coaching responsibilities for BUCs. Newcastle City Council have signed up to two No Strings franchises at Walker Activity Dome and Eldon Leisure, both sessions being launched with a TryBadminton course. In South East Northumberland, Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure signed an agreement to manage the CBN activity, including the successful Over 50s programme, to ensure the longevity and sustainability of the sessions. Included in this agreement was a No Strings Badminton franchise.
Tynedale CBN came on board this season, and started with a flyer being awarded a £7000 grant from Sport England. The grant includes funding for coach education, coach mentoring as well as three new adult sessions and a young person’s session. With the support of North Country Leisure Sports Development, a ladies session will be launching in Hexham as well as a ‘Development’ Squad, which will link to the Performance Centre. Following a successful TryBadminton course we have also launched a new Prudhoe Badminton Club with a look to starting a junior session next season with the support of Prudhoe Football and Sports Centre.
As many of you will be aware, BADMINTON England Regional Teams went through a restructure which took effect from the 1st April. As part of the restructure the nine regions were merged to form five larger regions and the role of the Regional Officer no longer exists. For the North East we were separated from Yorkshire and joined with the North West to form a new North Region. The new regional roles include:
- Regional Delivery Manager – strategic lead for the region including managing relationship with County Badminton Associations
- Partnership Manager – Manage investment into the CBNs and PCs
- Participation Manager – Manage relationship with Leisure Providers
- Workforce Officer – Develop workforce
For the North we have one person in each of the above roles, the following having been appointed; Nick Rimmer as Regional Delivery Manager, myself as Partnership Manager, Rachel Frobisher as Participation Manager and Leah Singleton as Workforce Officer.
From now on, Nick Rimmer will be liaising with the county on behalf of BADMINTON England with my role focusing on CBNs and PCs. I will still be working with many of you through your roles on the CBNs and PC but would like to thank the County, Clubs and several other partners for your support during my time as a Regional Officer.
Benfield Manager’s Report
Benfield was again the centre of our activities during the past season.
A number of clubs continued to play at the centre. Benfield Community Badminton Club plays on Monday evenings and continues to welcome new members. The junior club, supported by Benfield School, plays on Sunday evenings and provides the opportunity for the youngsters from the local schools to develop their skills in the game. P&G Badminton Club plays on Friday evenings, the Newcastle Performance Centre held junior squads at Benfield on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
The centre hosted Senior County Matches, on Sundays, for the two senior teams and also major senior tournaments, such as the Gold and Silver, Restricted and Upper Divisions as well as a number of graded tournaments. The senior county squad held its practices in the hall on Sundays throughout the season and singles sessions were available on alternate Wednesday evenings during the season. Junior County sessions and matches also took place on Sundays throughout the season.
The centre catered for all standards and welcomed new players in both club and casual play. Casual play was available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the evenings and throughout the day on Sundays.
Weekdays, within the curriculum, over 150 children from Benfield School and Walkergate Primary receive coaching every week on a rolling programme, throughout the year. After school clubs for Benfield students are also available on Mondays and Wednesdays and selected players are chosen to take part in Benfield School’s excellence programme in badminton.
Being based at Benfield has definitely helped us to develop Badminton in the area, but NBA will no longer run its activities at Benfield after 31 May 2013. Thank you to the centre staff and all who have supported our efforts at Benfield over the past dozen years. NBA activities, in the main, will take place at the Tyneside Badminton Centre from 1st June 2013. Badminton will, however, still be available at the Benfield Centre and information will be available at reception.
BUSINESS SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT
The principal objective of this Sub-Committee is to provide business support to the Association’s Management Committee and with this as its aim the Terms of Reference for the Sub-Committee cover the following:
- managing the Association’s finances;
- reviewing other Sub-Committees’ business plans;
- considering how to cover any income shortfalls;
- generating additional sources of income;
- managing the website;
- marketing and publicity; and
- reviewing the Development Plan.
The Association’s Development Plan was reviewed early in the year in conjunction with Committee Co-ordinators and a number of amendments were incorporated – to highlight possibilities arising from the availability of the new Tyneside Badminton Centre and, in the area of competition, to develop accessibility tournaments and improve links with local universities.
A Fund-Raising Working Group had been established in 2011 but progress here suffered when the Group’s organiser left the area. However, a number of ideas had been identified and these have recently been taken a step further: we hope to be able to hold additional social events and a Prize Draw, together with other smaller fund-raising initiatives over the course of next season. During last year, the juniors collected some £1200 from another successful bag pack and this level of additional fund-raising will need to be maintained, at the very least, in order to support the costs of match travel and practice sessions.
We recognise that marketing of the Association’s activities has the potential to be a very important area for us in the future. However, progress here has been very limited so far and we would particularly like to hear from any NBA players or members who have expertise in this area and who would be prepared to become involved on our behalf. We would also welcome contact with anyone who works for or has contact with any business that might be interested in discussing some form of sponsorship.
The Management Committee is concerned that the Association’s finances have been run at a deficit over a number of recent seasons. Accordingly, the Business Sub-Committee has a brief to review the finances with a view to moving towards break-even in the near future. Now that the move from Benfield has been achieved and there is some clarity as to the Association’s future, this will become the major pre-occupation of the Sub-Committee over the next year: we will be carrying out a review of all areas of the Association’s finances to identify how this can be achieved.
COMPETITIVE PLAY REPORT
Having been relegated from division 1A last season, the first team performed admirably throughout, being the undefeated champions of division 3 North (the ICC sections from premiership B down having been re-labelled). There were many excellent team performances, not least the recovery from 7-4 down in the final match of the season to preserve that unbeaten record.
With Lanarkshire promoted to the new division 1 via the play-offs, next year’s likely opposition in division 2 North will be Yorkshire 3(champions), Glasgow & NS 2, Lancashire 2 and Staffordshire(2nd in division 2 Central). This will make for an extremely competitive division.
Division 3 North:-
|11/11/12||Durham||Middlesbrough BC, TS4 2PE 1300||Won 9-6|
|02/12/12||Cheshire 2||Benfield Centre 1300||Won 12-3|
|16/12/12||Cumbria||St. Martins College, CA1 2HH 1200||Won 9-6|
|27/01/13||Yorkshire 4||Hull BC, HU5 4ED 1200||Won 10-5|
|17/02/13||Cumbria||Benfield Centre 1300||Won 15-0|
|24/02/13||Durham||Benfield Centre 1300||Won 11-4|
|17/03/13||Cheshire 2||Cheshire County SC, CH2 1PR 1300||Won 13-2|
|24/03/13||Yorkshire 4||Benfield Centre 1300||Won 8-7|
Some 24 players represented the second team during the season and maybe this inability to put out a settled team contributed to their somewhat mixed season. Little did they realise on winning their opening game of the season that they would not taste victory again until March 3rd, and indeed needed to match Lincolnshire’s result on the last day of the season to ensure their survival. This they did with a battling point away to runaway league leaders Yorkshire 5.
Their likely opponents next year will be Lancashire 4 and the Isle of Man, as this year, and Notts 3 (relegated from div 4 North) and Derbyshire 3 (promoted from div 6 North).
Division 5 North:-
|Isle of Man||8||5||3||75||45||16|
|14/10/12||Lincolnshire||Benfield Centre 1300||Won 8-7|
|28/10/12||Yorkshire 5||Benfield Centre 1300||Lost 0-15|
|09/12/12||Lancashire 4||Ribby Hall, PR4 2PR 1200||Lost 5-10|
|12/01/13||Isle of Man||Church High, NE2 3BA 1400||Lost 2-13|
|13/01/13||Isle of Man||Benfield Centre 1000||Lost 5-10|
|10/02/13||Lincolnshire||University of Lincoln SC, LN6 7TS 1230||Lost 3-12|
|03/03/13||Lancashire 4||Benfield Centre 1300||Won 8-7|
|21/04/13||Yorkshire 5||Hull BC, HU5 4ED 1430||Lost 6-9|
We have re-entered a 3rd team next season, for the first time since 2010-11, to re-establish the pathway between our U17 junior team and the senior teams, judging that we now have sufficient ladies to cover. Opposition in division 6 North will likely be Cumbria 2, Durham 3 and Lincs 2.
The County Match Secretaries meeting that will confirm our teams’ sections for next season is being held on May 18th this year. A major review of what is now simply the “County Championships” is currently being undertaken by BE, they remain a major plank of BE’s Competitive Play Strategy but financial support is unlikely unless a sponsor can be found. To aid the search for a sponsor, there are several proposals on the table including staging division 2 and division 3 over 3 weekends in a similar fashion to the Premiership and Division 1 and also that players should wear matching kit.
The traditional curtain raiser to the season provided some excellent entertainment as ever and produced a triple champion in Sarah Renton, repeating the feat she achieved in 2009. The annual “Restricted” tournament, restricted in the sense that only those people qualified for Northumberland can enter, saw some 53 players competing across the disciplines of singles, level doubles and mixed doubles.
County Restricted champions for the 2012-13 season were:-
Mens Singles: Rob Wetherell
Ladies Singles : Sarah Renton
Mens Doubles: Ian Lambert & Martin Fagan
Ladies Doubles: Sarah Renton & Katherine McGill
Mixed Doubles: Malcolm Lightbown & Sarah Renton
The annual “Uppers” Tournament took place at the Benfield Centre as usual in February and boasted the largest entry for many a year with some 63 players taking part, including 21 pairs in the mens doubles. Malcolm Lightbown and Sarah Renton stole the headlines as double champions.
“Uppers” champions for the 2012-13 season were:-
Mens Singles: Mark Murphy
Ladies Singles: Victoria Brewis
Mens Doubles: Malcolm Lightbown & Rob Wetherell
Ladies Doubles: Katherine McGill & Sarah Renton
Mixed Doubles: Malcolm Lightbown & Sarah Renton
The move to the Tyneside Badminton Centre for next season will enable both the Restricted and Uppers to revert to their traditional format, namely singles on Friday evening, doubles all day Saturday and finals on Sunday.
On the national front, we again staged a Northumberland Senior Silver, this being one of some 20 such tournaments nationally. Sarah Renton once again starred, winning the ladies doubles with England International Helen Davies and reaching the semis of the mixed with Malcolm Lightbown. Mark Murphy also made the quarters of the men’s singles.
The Northumberland Championships, part of the Badminton England Senior Gold Circuit, again took place in early January with a smaller entry than usual, maybe affected by the proximity of the New Year. The quality was undiminished however, boasting 8 players ranked in the top 10 in the country in their respective disciplines and featuring the majority of the England Under-19 squad. Chris Coles and Cumbrian Lauren Smith were both double champions, taking the mixed together and Coles taking the men’s, with regular partner Matthew Nottingham (world ranked 64) and Smith the ladies with Alex Langley. Smith has since been partnered with Gabby White and got through qualifying at the All-England this year.
Under-19 International Tournament
The International Team Tournament was again held as the precursor to the individual tournament and featured teams from England, an Under-17 team as usual but predominantly Under-16 this year, Scotland, and Malmo and Taby(Stockholm) from Sweden. Scotland emerged victorious, as they did last year, defeating England 3-2 in the deciding match.
There were over 100 individual entries from some 78 players this year and all matches were umpired for the first time, something which enhanced the presentation of the tournament . Both singles were won by the Swedes in Felix Burestedt and Matilda Nygren-Strandberg but the English won out in the doubles, Greg Mairs and Mike Roe from Cheshire won the men’s with Shropshire’s Jess Pugh winning both the mixed, partnered by Ben Lane from Devon, and the ladies partnered by ex-Northumberland player Ira Banerjee, now resident in Hampshire. All these three are Under-16 which bodes well for the future.
In addition to the Restricted and Uppers Tournaments mentioned above, which double as A&B grade tournaments, a further 8 graded tournaments were staged during the season including 2 singles only events. This is the same number that we ran last season and we are indebted to Andy McGill and Steve Porter for all their hard work in supporting these. Jesmond Dene and Medicals did again run tournaments but we do urgently need support in this area, and I would ask all clubs to consider staging a graded tournament. There will be plenty of support available from us to help and you can make money for your club as a result.
Masters (Veterans) Tournament
The 13th anniversary of the Northumberland Veteran’s Challenge featured over 100 entrants from Sweden, Scotland and 21 different counties ranging from Cornwall to Kent. The tournament also maintained its high standard of entry. For once, Cumbria’s Harry Shadwick only took one title winning the Over 65 men’s doubles with Mike Coley [Surrey], defeating Grahame Moscrop [Northumberland] and Ian Brothers [Kent] in the final. Durham’s Stan Johnson won the O55 men’s singles.
The singles league ran on alternate Wednesday evenings at the Benfield Centre, as last year, but with disappointing representation from non-county squad and non-PC players. The intention is to persevere next season, especially given the support for the singles Graded Tournaments. Any ideas on how to re-energise this would be welcomed.
PROPOSED SENIOR TOURNAMENT DATES
The following dates for season 2013-14 are at this stage only provisional and, due to the lateness of BWF publishing its calendar, and the subsequent knock-on effects to both the European Badminton and Badminton England calendars, the list is incomplete:-
27th, 28th & 29th September – County Restricted
12th & 13th October – Senior Silver
October – Masters
November – U19 again featuring the international team tournament on Friday.
11th & 12th January – Senior Gold
7th, 8th & 9th February – Uppers
LEAGUE SECRETARY’S REPORT
Thanks to Andy McGill’s ‘behind the scenes’ work, another highly competitive season has been visible online to all. A total of 24 clubs were represented throughout the period, 2 down on last year. Down slightly, 91 teams competed in the leagues.
39 teams competed in 7 Mixed Doubles Leagues down 2
36 teams competed in 7 Men’s Doubles Leagues down 2
16 teams competed in 3 Ladies Doubles Leagues up 1
20 matches were conceded this season. 9 Mixed, 4Men’s and7 Ladies, up from 2 last year, from the 342 scheduled. 1 remains unplayed, through loss of hall, late in the season and at short notice.
For the first year Rule 4.7 will come into play ‘If there is a promotion or relegation issue brought about by a concession to any of the teams involved, the issue shall be decided excluding the results from the offending team or teams.’ This has highlighted the need for matches to be played whenever possible and teams not to rely on the opposition’s results to ‘keep them safe’.
Note that it is up to the HOME team to contact the away team. Do not rely on email or text. Either ask for receipt of mail or return text, as assuming these ‘non verbal’ methods are getting through has caused problems. Ideally SPEAK to the opposition!
Please remember that I require legible, fully completed cards and keep me updated on any changes in fixture dates. I have had to chase a few clubs about unplayed matches which, ultimately, I have found have been rearranged.
Again, I have had several complaints about clubs rearranging matches. Please refer to the League Rules 3.4 and 3.5
Finally, congratulations to all of the trophy winners, in particular those who completed the season undefeated:
Telecom Men’s Premier
Jesmond Dene ‘A’ Men’s C
Riverside Men’s D
Medicals ‘A’ Men’s E
Elmfield ‘A’ Ladies B
St Gabs Mixed Premier
Jesmond Dene ‘A’ Mixed C
Elmfield ‘C’ Mixed G
JUNIOR COMPETITIVE PLAY
Last year’s report started with a plea that we need to do better at identifying and developing any latent talent each year, so that a more regular flow of young players can be provided, with the basic talent and aptitude to progress through the junior ranks each year, playing in age group tournaments and team events and then pressing for places in the senior teams. That statement is reiterated – although recent steps being initiated at groups of local schools may be the first steps in improving our ability to identify talent.
Principal Team Events:-
As far as results on-court are concerned, there have been some good performances by our squad players at individual tournaments: in general, however, team results are not what we would have hoped for. But the Under 13s did surprise us (and maybe also themselves) when they qualified for the National Finals of the BADMINTON England County Challenge and they did so despite being short of two girls at the York regional round. Most unfortunately, the weather in late-March was not in their favour and concerns about snow meant that it was decided not to travel down to Hatfield for the Finals – a great disappointment all round. Players chosen to represent the county’s Under 13 team in this event were Asmita Chaudhari, Anna Railton, Emily Harrison, Lexie Howard, Ashraf Alam, Andrew Howard, Antony Lai, Ben Matthewson and George Moran.
This season, it was felt that we only had sufficient depth of squad players to compete at Under 17 level in the Shires League, so we decided not to enter Under 13 and Under 15 teams. This was primarily due to a shortage of girls. The Under 17s had one good win against Yorkshire2 and two close matches with Cheshire and Lancashire2. The results were as follows:
Lancashire 1st: lost 2-18 Yorkshire 2nd: won 11-9
Lancashire 2nd: lost 9-11 Yorkshire 1st: lost 0-20
Cheshire: lost 9-11 Cumbria: lost 5-15
The Under 17 County Challenge, formerly called the “ICT”, has just taken place. We were in the bottom group in 32nd place out of 37 teams – much the same position as in several recent seasons. This was very disappointing, as we had felt that we had a stronger depth of team than last year and thought the mid-20s was feasible: in fact, as an indication of this aspiration, we lost in the first round to Shropshire by a mere 4 points and they finished 25th. Maybe the draw went against us but there is no doubt that the general standards at this event have improved considerably in recent years and there is little to choose across a range of county teams.
We have maintained our membership of the North Midway League: this is played at Sheffield and does not feature any “Grade 1” players and limits the number of “Grade 2s”. We did not have sufficient players to participate at the Primary and Under 12 events and have only been to one event each at Under 14 (7th of 10 teams); Under 16 (6th of 6); and Under 18 (4th of 4).
In the Anglo-Scottish League events (run by Foong Tham on our behalf, together with his assistant Julie Brown – and many thanks to them for that), the Under 12 event had to be re-arranged due to bad weather in January and was held in April: a team augmented by some Durham players performed very creditably to come 4th of 6. We were 5th of 7 in the Under 16s. The Under 19 event suffered from insufficient entries and was cancelled. These Anglo-Scottish team tournaments are very popular with the players but do seem to be facing more problems with the congested calendars both north and south of the border. We hope to be able to reinstate the Under 14 age group event next season.
Other Team Events:–
We played in both of Durham’s team events at Under 15 and Under 17, scored a few wins but did not feature in the medals.
An Under 13 team went to the Lothian team tournament on Easter Sunday and was a very creditable 3rd from the 8 teams competing.
It is planned to take a combined Northumberland & Durham team to the Under 12 Anglo-Scottish team tournament at Largs in mid-May.
We will continue to pull our weight in running team tournaments, as well as putting on individual tournaments at the full range of BE age groups. We feel that we need to continue to do this, as our geographical location means that our juniors and their parents have to commit to considerable travelling just to get regular competitive experience: this is one of the biggest constraints facing us. The availability of the new Tyneside Badminton Centre should provide greater flexibility in the arrangement of events.
In conclusion here, I wish to record my thanks to the following coaches and team managers who have been such a great support over the season: Rob Wetherell, Martin Fagan, Tom Appleyard, Elizabeth Alam, Chris Howard, Joanne Wilson and Ken Conway.
Individual Tournament Successes:-
A number of our juniors have enjoyed successes on the BE tournament circuit. Asmita Chaudhari and Ashraf Alam deserve particular mention. Others who have been keenly flying the county’s flag include Lexie Howard, Emily Harrison, Sarah Wilson, Ellie Roberts, Jonathan Elsdon, Gyan Chadda, Amit Chaudhari, Philip Pahatouridis, Annie Karn, Hannah Charlton, Alisha Israni, Robyn Luckley, Megan Porter, Ruiao Hu, Garrylee McMullen and Zarius Ferozepurwalla.
However, as stated last year, it is really important that we get a bigger base of younger players starting to play competitively in the local area. More of these will then hopefully go on to develop their abilities in the truly competitive environment of the national tournament circuits and/or to join the Performance Centre.
The Junior Restricted County Championships were held in September, although the Under12s was deferred due to lack of numbers and has yet to be rearranged, as also have the Under 18 events involving the girls – the winners were as follows:
|Under 18||Under 16|
|Girls singles||Yet to be decided||Alisha Israni|
|Boys singles||Amit Chaudhari||Philip Pahatouridis|
|Girls doubles||Yet to be decided||Hannah Charlton & Sarah Wilson|
|Boys doubles||Ruiao Hu & Garrylee McMullen||Amit Chaudhari & Philip Pahatouridis|
|Mixed doubles||Yet to be decided||Sarah Wilson & Stephen Allen|
|Under 14||Under 12|
|Girls singles||Ashraf Alam||Yet to be decided|
|Boys singles||Sarah Wilson||Yet to be decided|
|Girls doubles||Sarah Wilson & Ellie Roberts||Yet to be decided|
|Boys doubles||Ashraf Alam & Jonathan Elsdon||Yet to be decided|
|Mixed doubles||Ashraf Alam & Ellie Roberts||Yet to be decided|
The Northumberland Junior Club League, now being played as the “Super Series”, continued to flourish with a number of the junior clubs throughout Northumberland being brought together at Ashington on four occasions through the season. The basic concept is to introduce the children to competitive play with the emphasis being on singles and giving the players lots of matches during each of the four days. This is felt to be one of the main building blocks for the future improvement of junior badminton in the county over the next few years. This season saw a challenge to North Tyneside Badminton Academy’s previous dominance and in the end it was Tyneside Sharks that came out on top.
Finally, we should recognise the efforts of four of our schools in reaching the National Finals of the Center Parcs National Schools Championships, having won through the earlier local and regional rounds. Benfield KS4 boys made the Finals once again, finishing in a very creditable sixth place despite not having their second strongest boy available for the Finals. The girls from Newcastle Royal Grammar School likewise finished sixth at KS4 but could so easily have finished in the top three, losing vital matches by the narrowest of margins. Congratulations to Heaton Manor KS3 girls and Cramlington Learning Village KS3 boys on reaching the National Finals for the first time – unfortunately they found the opposition extremely tough and both ended up in ninth (and last) place – though Cramlington were unlucky to lose their number two boy to injury shortly before the Finals. The Championships had a record entry nationally, including in our County, where special mention should be made of North Northumberland, with significantly more teams taking part than ever before.
Awards for the 2012/13 Season
The Chairman of North Tyneside Council’s awards for the most promising Under 12s are due to be presented later in May. This season’s winners are Asmita Chaudhari, for the second season in succession, and George Moran.
Decisions on the award of the Bob Forster salvers for the “most promising” juniors, and on the award of junior county colours, will be announced at the junior Presentation Evening.
COACHING CO-ORDINATOR’S REPORT
As the position of Coaching Co-ordinator has been vacant now for a number of months, there is no report. However, a large number of coaches have been doing lots of work throughout the County in many different situations.
SCHOOLS SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT
NBA is currently reviewing the role and remit of this Sub-committee as a result of significant changes within schools, especially with regard to severe reductions in the finance available for coaches to work in schools, and also as a result of the dismantling of the School Sport Partnership system. For these and other reasons it has not proved possible to populate this Sub-committee as originally intended. This is further highlighted by the poor response to the questionnaire sent out to schools in Newcastle by our Schools Co-ordinator.
On a positive note, the Performance Centre has run two extremely successful and oversubscribed CPD courses for teachers. Also, a new Primary School initiative is in the final stages of planning, linked to Satellite Clubs in High Schools, with the support of Premier League 4 Sport and the County Sports Partnership. This is an exciting project which, we hope, will result in many more Primary age children becoming seriously interested in our sport, as well as helping to establish a properly organised pathway from school sport to clubs, the Performance Centre, and beyond.
CLUBS SUB-COMMITTEE REPORT 2012-13
Sadly the Clubs Sub-committee met only once during the past season. This was due to a number of reasons, but mainly, my preoccupation with the setting up of the new Tyneside Badminton Centre. We did however meet at the end of the season and the meeting was well attended by the clubs participating in the leagues. It was very encouraging to have the local universities present at the meeting and become welcome contributors to the debate.
In general, feedback from the senior clubs reported ‘just another season’. Reviewing the past year most felt that things ran smoothly with no major complaint about the past season and clubs seemed to be carrying on business as normal. Existing junior clubs are continuing to remain strong with Morpeth, Hexham, North Tyneside and Newcastle areas reporting good numbers, but it seems that a few clubs have tried developing a new junior club without success.
Halls continue to be an on-going challenge with costs rising and limited availability for choice of location. Telecom and St Gabriel’s are relocating from the Gibson Street Centre to the new Tyneside Badminton Centre, Jesmond Dene are also thinking of moving there due to increasingly difficult problems relating to their current venue. Elmfield reported that their hall is being presently reviewed as the merger of two private schools in the area could have an impact on the availability of the hall.
A few suggestions were put forward regarding the forthcoming season and league rules. Firstly, the idea of allowing a club to have two teams in one division and secondly the introduction of awarding four points for an all-out win and a division of the points for other possible outcomes of the match. Both suggestions were debated at length and a consensus regarding clubs having two teams in one division was negatively received as clubs felt it would have a negative impact on other clubs in the league. Steve Abbott stated he would take the idea of awarding four points to the next Competitive Play Board meeting and see if the idea works, then report back to the next Clubs Sub-committee meeting.
I will endeavour to ensure we hold meetings of the Clubs Sub-committee more frequently in the forthcoming season. Once again I would like to make a plea to those clubs which don’t attend to please make an effort to support the meetings.