Posted on 10th August 2022
This weekend (6 and 7 August 2022), we held our 54th Badminton Bonanza at the Sir Craig Reedie Badminton Centre in Glasgow.
Organised by our Head of Events, Peter Dean, the Bonanza is a ranking tournament open to anyone aged 18 and over. While the event is a ranking tournament, it is played in a really friendly atmosphere and there is also a big social element to it as well.
There are two different levels within the tournament meaning a wide range of abilities can participate. One is ‘competitive’ which are Grade B ranking events, and the other is ‘social’ which are Grade C ranking events.
The format of the tournament runs in groups initially, followed by knockout stages which allows everyone to play at least three or four matches per discipline against players of a similar ability.
Take a look at what some of the players involved had to say about their time at our 54th Badminton Bonanza.
Parabadminton player, Colin Leslie (pictured) is a double leg amputee who plays regularly in both able bodied and parabadminton events. He competed in men’s singles and doubles at our Badminton Bonanza alongside his men’s doubles partner Richard Lean who is also a parabadminton player (pictured). As well as being a keen player, Colin is also a volunteer and a coach at the Lothian Disability Badminton Club.
Colin who played in the singles event said: “I certainly have enjoyed the Bonanza. Personally for me, I play half-court singles and because I am a double below the knee amputee it gets me moving on court and playing different people who are able-bodied which is an absolute thrill for me. I come along to as many events that I possibly can to improve my game, get awareness on the court and help others get involved in the sport – to actually see kids smiling when they come off the court means we’re doing something right”.
Colin also added: “When I come along to these events I know most of the people, most of them are students so they’re a lot fitter than myself and a lot stronger but they all have fun on court, they can see that I’ve got a disability, they don’t single me out and I get treated fairly like everybody else should be in the hall by the staff and by all players so it’s really enjoyable for me to come along”.
Rachel started playing Badminton when she was 8 years old at an afterschool session and fell in love with the sport. Shortly after this she joined her brothers club in Dunfermline and got more involved in tournaments as she got older.
“The games at the Bonanza are very competitive which is always good but it’s all very friendly too, there’s no sort of stats, it’s all very social and it’s nice just to see people you don’t see very often, particularly those from up north – it just brings people together which is really great”.
“The other good thing about tournaments and competitive matches is, it gives you a chance to pair up, find a doubles partner and play with different people. You get to know people over time and events like this one and the Graded International are really nice team bonding experiences”.
Rachel recently found a mixed doubles partner in Keegan, who is a keen player and only picked up a racket 5 years ago, but who’s social life pretty much revolves around badminton. Keegan is a great ambassador for Badminton Scotland, heavily involved in volunteering and helping Peter run various events.
“Myself and Rachel were in the same grade down in Cardiff back in July (at the Graded International) and we practised before we went down to get used to each other’s game. We then decided to play against Wales together and it went well! We knew the Bonanza was coming up in a couple of weeks and both of us were looking for mix partners so we thought why not and that’s how our doubles partnership came about”.
Rebecca and Ali came runners up in the women’s doubles with Rebecca also placing runner up in mixed doubles. Originally from Orkney (although Ali now lives in Edinburgh), both players have shown dedication and passion to the sport, travelling the country to play in events and competitions such as this one!
Ali says, “it’s so great, competitions like this you’ve got people coming from all over and you’re meeting new people every time you come to play, so it’s as much about the social as it is about the badminton – it’s always a really good, fun environment to be a part of”.
When talking about the Badminton community in Orkney, Rebecca says: “There’s lots of players that play locally and it’s really competitive but it’s a really good atmosphere as well. We’re looking forward to the Island Games and there’s a lot of training going on around that and a lot of folk wanting to play a bit more competitively. There’s a lot more folk travelling south but we’re hoping more players will travel north for our competitions this season”.
Rebecca adds, “I also enjoy playing against the guys at the Bonanza’s. Badminton and mixed doubles is a really way to play against a wide range of abilities. You can be at a club night and as long as you have a racket, you can have a rally and play. Badminton is really accessible which not all sports are – it’s a sport for everyone!
Did you know we run plenty of other similar events throughout the season?Go Back