Badminton Scotland’s Shuttlemark initiative has made a strong start to the new calendar year.
Three clubs – Cults Junior and 71 Club from the Grampian region as well as Orkney Badminton Association from the Highlands – have achieved one of the awards for the first time, joining the 12 other clubs throughout the country who had already become part of Badminton Scotland’s national club accreditation scheme.
In addition, two clubs - Gleanearn from Perth & Kinross, and Forthside Junior from Stirling – upgraded their existing bronze awards by achieving Shuttlemark’s Silver Standard last month.
That means a total of 15 clubs have achieved one of the Shuttlemark standards since it was launched in November 2017, with 10 clubs currently at the bronze level and five at silver.
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.
Certain parts of the country face more challenges than most and Orkney Badminton Association face particular pressures, having to do a phenomenal amount of fund raising to assist with the travel costs they incur to compete and train out with the Island.
Of course this is only possible due to the very pro-active junior and senior committee and the Association is also very fortunate to have an excellent group of volunteers, parents and local businesses who support the group with both time and money but junior Head Coach Eion Ballantine also paid tribute to the Shuttlemark initiative:
“It is imperative that we support our volunteers and coaches and offer courses locally and at the correct level and make them feel included in the development of our young players.
“We have juniors involved in the Player Development Pathway, organised and set up by Sport Scotland, and this has been invaluable for our players.
“It is also important that we feel part of the badminton scene nationwide and do not feel isolated and Badminton Scotland has given us this support through Club Accreditation and the Club Pathway scheme.”
President Rebecca Reid continued: “We are delighted to have achieved the accreditation and are now working on gaining our silver by the end of March.
“We are working hard in Orkney to up-skill our coaches, retain our volunteers and parent-helpers to continually improve the quality of Badminton that we offer in Orkney.”
One club which has already progressed from bronze to silver is Forthside Junior, achieving the bronze Shuttlemark level in early 2018 before being awarded the silver level last month.
And the progress of the club was rewarded further when, just after receiving the silver Shuttlemark standard, they also received a cheque for £1,250 from Club Sport Stirling.
Junior Head Coach Craig McCandlish said “We are grateful for the support of both Clubsport Stirling and Badminton Scotland whilst we work to help young people get involved in Badminton.
“As a sport that is so versatile for all types of people to play we enjoy being able to provide access to the sport to young people who want to play and coaching and support to those who want to take it further.”
The Forthside Badminton club, established in 2013 with the goal of getting more people active in the central area, works very closely and is supported by Active Stirling, Active Clacks and Badminton Scotland but the Manager of the Adult Club, Mark Thomson, also paid tribute to the unsung heroes.
“All the club members and volunteers work hard to make Forthside a success,” he said. “We would like to thank everyone who helps the club continue to promote badminton in the area.”
For more information on Shuttlemark contact Euan Murray, Badminton Scotland Regional Development Officer, on 0141 445 1218 or email firstname.lastname@example.org