Lanarkshire Badminton Group: Convenor’s Report AGM 2023

By Jill Smith

Badminton Scotland are committed to achieving its vision of Badminton being the biggest participation sport in Scotland bringing people and communities together through Badminton and Lanarkshire Group are in support of that vision.

Lanarkshire Group Committee have met in person since the beginning of the season utilising The Lighthouse in Larkhall.  It has been great to meet in person again as a committee.  This has allowed us to connect more in person and we have enjoyed catching up with one another.  We would like to thank the venue for allowing us to meet here.

The objectives of raising the profile of Badminton and developing club opportunities, particularly for juniors is still high on our agenda. BASE is playing a big part on this front with 3 kids clubs and 2 adults clubs.

The tournament calendar has been busy and Lanarkshire have delivered tournaments at all age groups, a new C Grade Bonanza and Junior Singles League. We unfortunately had to cancel our first event which was a Junior Singles League due to lack of venue availability however we managed to run 6 events in total including:

  • Bill Neill Lanarkshire Open (Grade A) – October 2022 at Larkhall Leisure Centre
  • Lanarkshire Social Doubles (Non-Ranking) – October 2022 at Larkhall Leisure Centre
  • Lanarkshire Junior Singles League (Non-Ranking) – January 2023 at Wishaw Sports Centre
  • Lanarkshire U13/17 Junior Open (Grade A) – February 2023 at John Wright Sports Centre
  • Lanarkshire Bonanza (Grade C) – April 2023 at Wishaw Sports Centre
  • Lanarkshire U13/17 Junior Open – May 2023 at John Wright Sports Centre

Next season’s programme is similar with the Lanarkshire Bonanza being extended to across 2 days and becoming a Grade B & C which aligns with Badminton Scotland’s Bonanza format.

The Lanarkshire Open Junior Event (U15/19) in February 2022 took place in John Wright Sports Centre. The tournament was augmented with a café which made some much needed funds during a highly successful event. The U13/17 event in May also saw an excellent entry with some good quality badminton.

The Senior County Team have had an excellent season gaining the promotion they missed out on last season. This is quite an achievement and the Group wish them well for the forthcoming season. I would like to thank Kirsten & Robert and all the players who represented and contributed to this fantastic triumph across the season.

Also there has been a lot of notable Lanarkshire success from various players across the county.  This includes Matthew Waring reaching the final of the Scottish Senior National Championships.  Sophie Ford & Anthony McGuire were part of the Scottish Team who competed at the 2022 U19 European Junior Championships in Belgrade back in August 2022.  More recently in May 2023, Alfie Martin represented Scotland in the U15 Quadrangular Home Nations Scotland Team in Wales.  A special mention should go to Arisha Manir who got to the finals off the SSBU Primary Girl’s Singles at 9 years old.

We are keen to continue support affiliated badminton clubs in Lanarkshire.  The ongoing work in relation to BASE is fully supported by the Group aiming to provide more playing opportunities for those who want to participate competitively or socially. The Junior Clubs in Rutherglen ,Lanark and Hamilton are thriving and efforts are underway to have a club in East Kilbride for the forthcoming season. Hall availability will determine if this will be viable.

The development plan which was formulated last season is still in place giving the Group a focus which they regularly check for progress and suitability.  Priorities going forward include succession planning in particular relation to tournament organisation where Frank Turnbull delivers all 7 of our events as well Hugh Ainsley delivering the full SSBU calendar of events.  Further to this, funding and sustainability are key areas including acquisition of sponsors and fundraising efforts.  On a positive note we have ended this season on an improved financial position in comparison to last year.  This includes making a surplus at all of our tournaments!  We have majorly benefitted from the donations we have received through our sponsors and fundraising efforts which is greatly appreciated.

The past season has been productive and a great solid return to doing what the Group had set out to do. I think we have successfully achieved in terms of performance, event management and junior recruitment. A strong committee with a wide skill base  is vital, particularly when people are leading busy challenging lives and our doors remain open to new members.

A big welcome to new members and I hope that those currently involved continue to support so that we can strengthen what we already have.

Thank you for all your contributions and I look forward to a successful forthcoming season.

Jill Smith

Lanarkshire Badminton Group

Group Convener

June 2023