Posted on 16th May 2023
By Euan Murray (RDO West)
The 2023 West Open Disability Badminton Tournament (WODBT) took place on Saturday 13th May 2023 at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow.
The 2022 event had taken place earlier in the season back in October however this year’s event had been planned for May due to the busy scheduling of events at the beginning of next season.
The entry included 30 players in total which was a slight increase from 28 in the previous event.
There were 6 pools in total which included Learning Disability Mixed Singles (LDMS) 1, LDMS 2, LDMS 3, LDMS 4, SL3 (Standing/lower limb impairment/severe) & Wheelchair (WC) and SL4 (Standing/lower limb impairment/minor) & Short Stature (SS).
Due to the number of entries the SL3/WC and SL4/SS involved merging categories.
Please see all images below the article.
Ryan Melville of Disability Sport Fife (DSF) took on Lothian Disability Badminton Club’s (LDBC) Siobhan Cuthbert of LDBC who got play underway in the in the LDMS 1, despite a close opening set (21-19) Cuthbert took the second set convincingly 21-6.
Isla Scott (Wing Badminton Club) the youngest competitor in the LD events was playing against older and more experienced opposition however this did not deter her from giving it her all. She had a close three set match (longest match of the group – 24 minutes!) with Cuthbert narrowly clinching the win 15-21, 21-12 and 21-10.
The final match of the group and the gold/silver match decider was between 2022 winner James Pert of Glasgow Disability Badminton Club (GDBC) and Matthew Power (LDBC). There were some very fast paced and intense exchanges between Pert & Power, providing a great spectacle for the crowd with Pert going on to win 21-10, 21-14 taking the Gold Medal. Power took Silver and Cuthbert took the Bronze medal – impressive displays from both the LDBC players.
Fellow Disability Sport Fife members Caitlin De Soyza and Jazmine McNeil were the first match on in this group, with De Soyza winning 21-19, 21-19 in a very close encounter. De Soyza was involved in a further series of long & gruelling matches. This included a 38 minute match between DSF’s Graham Law followed by two three setters against East Kilbride Youth Disability Sports Club’s (EKYDSC) Ross McCann and GDBC’s David Adie. After going down in the 1st set in both matches, De Soyza demonstrated her sheer determination and resilience, bouncing back to win the finals sets in both of these matches 21-9 & 21-14 respectively – winning the Gold. Adie & McCann taking the silver and bronze medals.
With a pool of 6 in this group, this meant it was split into a Group A and Group B with 3 players in each pool. It was (LDBC) Peter Sabine and Hazel Irvine of East Kilbride Youth Disability Sports Club (EKYDSC) who got play underway in the LDMS 3. It was a three setter in this one, Irvine taking the first set 21-17 however Sabine managed to win the next two sets – 21-9, 21-15 in the opening tie.
Although it was EKYDSC’s Aiden O’Hare who went on to win the group with two wins against Sabine and Irvine. O’Hare and Sabine progressed to the Semi Finals.
In Group B, it was an all GDBC affair with Caitlin Donnachie, Linzi Finnigan and Jack Logan all facing off against each other. It was Finnigan and Logan progressing to the Semi Finals with Finnigan winning both group games to top the group.
The 3rd place players of Group A & B would meet in the 5th/6th Playoff, the runners-up in the Semi Finals would compete for the Bronze Medal and the Gold/Silver Match was between the winners of the Semi Finals.
The Bronze Medal match was very tight with Sabine edging it over Logan 13-21, 22-20 and 21-13. In the Gold/Silver Medal match, Finnigan pushed O’Hare especially in the second set but it was O’Hare who came out on top winning 21-9, 22-20 to take Gold.
The LDMS 4 group began with GDBC teammates Marks Samins and Michal Ostrowski getting play started with Samins winning 21-14, 21-14. LDBC’s Sharon Munro and EKYDSC’s Stacey Reid competed, with Munro winning 21-14, 21-7. Although Reid showed resilience and achieved wins in her next three matches to take Silver. From here Munro managed to maintain a 100% winning record overcoming Samins (21-12, 21-12), Ostrowski (21-13, 21-12) to top the group and gaining the Gold medal. Colin Nicolson of EKYDSC had some closely fought matches and got the win against Samins 21-19, 21-9 to secure the Bronze.
In this group, we had players from SL3 class and Wheelchair classes competing together. First up, it was between LDBC’s Gregor Anderson and Logan Welsh – the youngest player at the tournament. The pair pushed each other the entire way but it was Anderson who ended up sealing the win 21-13, 26-28, 21-11, with Welsh forcing Anderson to up their performance.
Birtles and Anderson would then meet in second last match of the group, with Anderson proving to be too strong for Birtles winning 21-9, 21-4 with Anderson taking the Gold in the WC category.
LDBC’s Colin Leslie and Crieff’s Niall Jarvie would meet in the final match of the group stage, on what would we a decider for Gold/Silver – a repeat of the 2022 event. Leslie and Jarvie had last faced off at the 2023 Scottish Home Nations Disability Championships in March where Leslie was triumphant. However, Jarvie was victorious with 21-12, 21-14 win taking the Gold.
SL4 and Short Stature (SS) Mixed Singles (SL4/SS MS)
Similarly to SL3/WC group, the SL4/SS group had players from SL4 class and Short Stature classes. Dunfermline’s Owen Carmichael, like Isla Scott & Logan Welsh – another promising star for the future was the youngest in the pool at 15 years old.
LDBC’s Andrew Davies achieved an impressive three out of three wins in the pool against Carmichael, LDBC teammates Jamie Munro and Richard Lean. Lean battled hard against but Davies remained on task winning 21-11, 21-19.
Lean and Munro tested each other all the way however Lean was successful in beating Munro 21-11, 21-16. For SS category, Davies took Gold and Carmichael with Silver and the SL4 category Lean won Gold and Munro with Silver.
This event was a really a great example of partnership working between various organisations make it happen and thanks goes to the people involved for their hard work, knowledge, expertise and input pre-event and on the day.
This includes Gillian Allan, Tournament Organiser of Glasgow & North Strathclyde (G&NS) Badminton Group who led on running the tournament. She also setup the draw and scheduled matches on Tournament Software which involved a substantial amount of time and effort.
Gillian was delighted to be involved in what was her second time at this event:
‘‘It was great to see so many players from different disability clubs coming together on Saturday and enjoying some very competitive games. The event ran very smoothly and that was partly due to all the volunteers on the day and also as a result of weeks of planning (especially by Euan of Badminton Scotland). It’s a privilege and very rewarding to be involved with these events and I hope that they continue to go from strength to strength.’’
We are also very fortunate to have the services David Gillespie of GDBC, EKDSC and Badminton Scotland’s Disability Working Group. He was valuable in ensuring pools were arranged and matched based on ability using the LD Player Rating System which has been developed by David himself. He was also able to lead on the organisation of matches and groups with the aim in ensuring that everyone had an enjoyable experience on the day. David also was a Match Scorer on the day. David stated:
‘‘I’m always happy to be involved with the disability badminton events and I enjoyed every minute of the West Open Disability Badminton Tournament on Saturday’’
Also, thanks goes to Nancy Peters of Disability Sport Glasgow (DSG) and Gary McDonald of Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) who were heavily involved in the run up to the event, as part of team planning the event along with David & Gillian. They both helped with promotion of the event and were part of the Match Scorers team too.
Nancy told us: “Disability Sport Glasgow were delighted to be part of another successful West Disability Badminton Tournament. Great participants, great atmosphere and some fantastic rallies. Well done everyone!”
Gary stated: “The West Disability badminton event at Scotstoun was a complete success! The whole day flowed very well, and it was great to see so many participants competing. I was very proud to represent SDS at the event and happy to support more badminton events in the near future”.
We are very grateful for the team of Match Scorers who included Moira Crichton (GDBC), Ally King (Glenearn Badminton Club), Mo McNeil (Disability Sport Fife), Craig Scott (Wing Badminton Club). Again there was little rest in between matches and this role required full focus & concentration for a large period of time, so very appreciative of this.
For this year’s event we were supported by volunteers who part of Police Scotland Youth Volunteer (PSYV) programme. This included seven young people and two adult volunteer coordinators. The PSYV is a programme was people between ages 13 to 17 years old who give up time to volunteer in their own communities. The group that attended the event operated the scoreboards and did an excellent and professional job on the day.
Group Coordinator, P.C. Lynsey Ingram, was delighted that PSYV was able to support such a worthwhile event, emphasising that the aim of PSYV was to involve young people in ‘volunteering for our communities’.
Deputy Group Coordinator Jim McGonigle and Adult Volunteer Danieka Currie attended the event in a supervisory capacity. Jim said “It was great to see our youth volunteers actively engage with players, umpires, friends and family” and thought the youths “had displayed empathy and conducted themselves to the highest standards”. Danieka added that she found the event “uplifting and inspiring”.
Sophie, a youth volunteer, beamed that “it was great fun. Everyone was so friendly and I made many friends during the day”. She then went on to say, “I hope we can help out at other events in the future”. This sentiment was shared by all involved in the day.
Greater Glasgow Police Scotland Youth Volunteers gave their thanks to Badminton Scotland for inviting them to attend this tournament and P.C. Lynsey added “we hope to be able to help out in the future”.
Also, we want to thank Denise Dunn from West of Scotland Disability Sport (WOSDS) who attended on behalf of the organisation. WOSDS provided funding towards the cost of the event as well as DSG provided funding and Gold, Silver & Bronze medals. Further to this, GDBC provided funding and all the shuttlecocks. This was greatly appreciated which helped again keep the overall costs down and in particular the entry fee for participants.
An extra special thanks to RDO West, Euan Murray who supported the event from the organisation to being there on the day to help out and write the round up! Thanks Euan, you are a star!