St Andrews University is Scotland’s oldest university and its badminton club has become the first in Scotland to gain the Bronze Award as part of Badminton Scotland’s Shuttlemark Accreditation initiative.
Shuttlemark was launched in November 2017. The aim of the programme is to help support clubs in order to develop and strengthen their infrastructure, plan for the future and in turn increase capacity and grow.
The University of St Andrews’ motto is ‘Ever to Excel’ and the badminton club aims to encompass this into all that they do, continually finding new and exciting ways to encourage and nurture badminton players within the university community and to try and raise the profile of badminton around St Andrews. Achieving this award is definitely a step in the right direction.
The club started recreational sessions for social members and this has been very popular. After attending the AGM of the Dundee Area Badminton Association, a new St. Andrews University DABA squad was formed to play in the leagues.
It was created to help provide a new opportunity for those who wanted to play competitively but in a more relaxed setting. There has been keen interest from the recreational members in joining this team, drawing on a pool of more than 20 players. The club will continue to encourage players to come and join – especially since they now have team DABA kit!
Competitive players aren’t forgotten about either with the club also having two teams playing in BUCS. The first team are on top of division 2A, and the second team have just won division 4A.
Earlier this year three players travelled down to Sheffield to compete at the national Universities competition.
The new committee have been very proactive about working with other organisations such as Scottish Student Sport and Active Schools.
Eilidh Paterson, Scottish Student Sport development officer, said: “The University of St Andrews Athletic Union and its Badminton Club are very supportive of Scottish Student Sports’ regional ladder which provides the Tayside and Fife students another opportunity for friendly local competition.
“I look forward to continuing and improving this event in the future with support from the club and Badminton Scotland RDO”.
The outreach programme in partnership with Active Schools came about through meetings with BS RDO, Madras ASC and the club committee. The club have numerous volunteers from the committee and team who coach in schools around the local community. This was initiated at the start of this academic year (18/19), and has been a great success.
At the start of the academic year the club paired with Madras College Secondary School in St Andrews. Now due to growing interest from within the club they provide volunteer coaches at Greyfriars RC Primary as well. This has been another great way to help raise the profile of the university badminton club, as well as aiding the members in broadening their horizons both badminton-related and personal skillsets.
The club also organised and ran a handicapped doubles tournament during the first half of this academic year that attracted a great mix of students, staff and local residents. They are planning a similar tournament in April, and will donate the proceeds to a local charity.
The club now has 116 members and this is testament to the work of the new committee. They acknowledge the invaluable support of the University of St Andrews Athletic Union and Claire Scott from the Union said: “The badminton club have been outstanding in their club development over the course of the academic year.
“Their drive and hunger to do better as a club has been the main catalyst to their success and their development has also enabled the club to engage with the local community and work closely with Active Schools and Scottish Student Sport.
“As a result the club have delivered after school clubs in local primary schools and high schools and are one of the first clubs at St Andrews University to support the SSS regional ladders.
“The committee have worked very hard to achieve the Bronze Shuttlemark Accreditation, and I’m sure this will create an ambitious culture within the club and feed in to our Saints Sports goal ‘Ever to Excel’”.
Badminton Scotland is keen to support more university clubs to achieve the Shuttlemark accreditation awards. If you would like more information on the programme, contact the Regional Development Officer for your area or development lead for accreditation Euan Murray. You can find contact details here