Club achieves double Silver Club award

ADASTRAL Park Badminton Club in Suffolk has achieved a double Silver Club award for its adult and junior sections through Badminton England.Silver Club is Badminton England's application of the government-backed Sport England Clubmark initiative to allow all sports clubs to demonstrate that they provide a safe environment for children to learn and play sports.

ADASTRAL Park Badminton Club in Suffolk has achieved a double Silver Club award for its adult and junior sections through Badminton England.

Silver Club is Badminton England's application of the government-backed Sport England Clubmark initiative to allow all sports clubs to demonstrate that they provide a safe environment for children to learn and play sports.

Adastral Park badminton club is one of the biggest in the county with over seventy members. Club chairman Glenn Tooke said: “Gaining this award is a major achievement for us and recognises that we are a safe, well-run club where children can learn how to play badminton.”

Gaining the awards has meant a lot of hard work for the committee members.

“We knew we were a well run club,” Darryl Morgan, the club secretary said, “but we still had to make a number of changes to the way we operated in order to meet the Silver Club criteria.”

The club started its junior section in 2002 because the average age of its senior members seemed to be increasing against a background where fewer young players were coming into the sport. With four qualified coaches and two dedicated volunteer helpers, the club eventually moved to Rendlesham Sports Centre in 2004. This was more central to the natural catchment area for the club, with it being linked to BT's Adastral Park site at Martlesham Heath.

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“Moving to Rendlesham was so successful that we had to close our membership and start a waiting list,” said Darryl Morgan.

The senior club plays at Ipswich School sports hall on Fridays while the junior section plays on Mondays at Rendlesham.

“The club came here two seasons ago and I've seen the membership double in that time,” said hall manager Vernon Drain. “We're currently in discussion about extending their slot by an hour because of the interest the club has generated.”

The presentation of the awards was made by Julia Strong, Badminton England's national clubmark officer and regional development manager, and Elaine Burrows, the county development officer for badminton.

Julia said she was delighted to present the Silver Club awards to the Adastral Park club and that it was an important achievement for them.

She added: “Badminton England wants as many of its clubs as possible to work towards gaining this standard as it will help them to grow by actively encouraging people of all ages, but especially children, into the sport through a structured learning and playing environment and the development plans that have to be put in place.”

Glenn Tooke sees the awards as helping to ensure that the Adastral Park club continues to be one of the best in the county.

“We started the junior section and set out to achieve this award as stepping stones to guaranteeing the future of our club and to bring more children into the county junior squad with which we have close links.

“We actively train our juniors and try to bring them into the senior club, and our teams, as soon as they are competent. We are now a significant provider of players into the junior county squads with eight of our juniors currently playing.

“Our next goal is to put a team in the IDBL, within the next two years, made up entirely of children under 17.”

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