Feathers Flying across the Highlands

Skye Badminton Association rounded- off their action packed season by hosting the local championships in the Fingal Centre, Portree.

All 4 courts were at capacity throughout the day as feathers flew across the nets as players competed for the spoils of the day.

The association is indebted to Skye Finishing touches for sponsoring the event and would like to thank Iain Beaton for presenting the prizes on their behalf.

Ladies Singles - Debbie Craig
Men's Singles – John McCulloch
Ladies Doubles - Susan Hunter & Joan Columbine
Men's Doubles - Jonathon McKinnon & Stewart Johnston
Mixed Doubles -  J McCulloch & D Craig

The last games of the leagues were successfully completed before the season ended with Kyleakin beating Broadford 8-4 in the A league and Dunvegon B ousting Elgol 9-3 to win the B league.

Meanwhile, it’s been hectic for the Shetland players over the last couple of months as they prepared to play Orkney at senior and junior level. Weekly well attended training sessions paid dividends as Shetland A and Shetland both secured a comfortable win over the Orkney county sides.

While the B teams continued with the tried and tested format of 6 men and 6 women playing level and missed doubles, the A county teams introduced 4 games of singles and cross over doubles.

This trial, increased the time on court to about 6 hours, however all that took part that the new format was a success and should be continued with maybe some little tweeks made for next season.

Shetland A -won 19-7 and Shetland B- won 7-5

After the success of the senior players in Shetland it was the turn of the juniors who travelled to Orkney to compete at under 13 and under 18 ( under 15 had competed earlier in the season with a close win for Orkney  20-16).
Despite the rough seas endured on the evening ferry the night before, all juniors were up and competition ready for the competition that lay ahead.

They were not to be disappointed, all 3 setters went the way of Shetland, despite Orkney battling hard, scores were tight as was the net play and the short serves from both sides. The quality of play from both teams was a credit to their coaches. Final result saw Shetland win under 13 (21-15) and under 18 (20-4)

Orkney had to pick themselves up very quickly as they travelled to Wick to play in the Orkney v Caithness Schools competition.

This was Orkney’s first visit to the new school campus opened recently in Wick. It proved a fitting venue for a match played in a friendly but competitive manner.

Six boys and six girls competed at all three disciplines across the three age groups (under 13,15 & 18).

This was the first time in a few years that Caithness managed to put out a full squad at under 18. On paper this match looked like very tight and competitive, however as the games progressed Caithness were left wanting. After initial victories, Orkney romped home with a 23-1 win in the under 13’s, 18- 6 in the under 15 and 17-7in the under 18’s.

The lack of match practice and intense competition for Caithness was clearly evident and will be addressed in time for the next inter county schools competition.

The next meeting of Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Caithness and all other Highland juniors will be in Kirkwall in September, when Orkney Badminton Association host the next HBG junior restricted event.
All spaces have been taken for the badminton summer Camp being held in Dingwall form Tuesday 17thJune to Friday 20th. Coach for the 4 days will be Duncan Grant.

HBG will be hosting the Senior Championships in the Black Isle at the end of April and entries are now open.

Lochaber Badminton Club will be hosting a Come & Play for primary and secondary pupils on April 21st in Lochaber High School, 10am to 11.30 (primary) 11.30 -1pm (secondary) before running a doubles competition in the afternoon (1pm to 4pm ) – entry forms available from RDO Jane Grant- janegrant@badmintonscotland.org.uk

Nairn Sports Club run a very successful programme of badminton throughout the year. They have 3 morning sessions as well as Sunday nights. Andrea Gallagher and Freya Masson organise the leagues and ensure all fixtures are fulfilled, also ensuring that all players get maximum enjoyment and usually finish with a cup of tea and a few homemade fancies.

Carol Dudley coaches the junior players and seniors offer monthly coaching sessions from Dan Travers.
Thanks must go to Nairn Sports Club for hosting the UKCC Level1 Award, tutored by Tom Lambert. Assessment day is on April14th. Good luck everybody.

The Sports Club have recently extended their venue and have made it even more inviting for members. Badminton continues to thrive in Nairn.