Badminton boost: Lothian team success; Meadowbank return; Participation boom
Lothian badminton teams excelled at the Scottish inter-group restricted team events in Glasgow – taking the under-18 trophy and just missing out in their defence at under-15 level.
The Bill Neill Lanarkshire senior open, taking place simultaneously, caused a few disruptions but Lothian still rose to the challenge. For example the under-15’s, despite five players stepping up, came within a single point of beating Glasgow & North Strathclyde to the trophy.
Team managers were Matt Wilson (under-18) and Duncan Campbell (under-15). Assisting were Sethu Vijayakumar and Euan Campbell. Lothian under-18’s - Jennifer Feng, Tushara Senthilrajaram, Deepti Vijayakumar, Qing Yang Xiao, Richard Adams, Ross Macartney, Tushar Senthilrajaram and Lingyun Xiao Under-15’s - Lucy Degg, Mia Robinson, Anna Ryan, Sophie Walker, Ingrid Wang, David Campbell, Jacob Glass, Ben Ross, and Joe Shell.
Lewis Smith won all three under-15 events when the Yonex junior badminton championships, which also featured under-19's, returned to Meadowbank for the first time since its closure in 2017. Previously Meadowbank had hosted for 50 years. A singles and girls doubles winner at under-15 level was Deepti Vijayakumar while Anthony McGuire won both under-19 doubles events as Lothian Badminton welcomed a new sponsor in Martin Campbell Financial Management.
Lewis partnered Lucas Chin in the boys' doubles and Abigail Barrie in the mixed while Deepti won the girls doubles alongside Qing Yang Xiao. Under-19 winners: boys singles, Matthew Waring; Girls singles, Sophie Ford; Boys doubles, Anthony McGuire and Angus Meldrum; Girls doubles, Katrina Chan and Ishbel McCallister; Mixed doubles, Anthony McGuire and Brooke Stalker.
The number of players visiting The Edinburgh Badminton Academy (EBA) has grown by 100 per cent, spurred on by a renewed interest in the sport and a new sponsorship deal with digital marketing firm Alba SEO. The new deal will help the club capitalise on a surge of interest since the Covid lockdown with over 600 players now regularly attending badminton sessions, up from 300 in January 2020. The deal will also allow the club to invest in much needed new coaches, with a focus on growing its junior members.
Greg Broadbent, Director and Founder of EBA said: “We are very grateful to Alba SEO for supporting us. This much needed injection of funding will help us capitalise on the growth and provide more opportunities. After 18 months of restrictions, people are looking for new ways to get fit. Badminton is accessible to all ages as it is easy to pick up for beginners, and yet can be extremely competitive for experienced players. With help from our local partner, Alba SEO, we have access to additional funds to train new coaches and expand our network of Badminton sessions delivered across the city. This way we can introduce the sport to more people, resulting in a boost in interest, participation and membership at the club.”
Greg started the club as a social enterprise back in 2013 while at university. Caroline Phillips, Director of Alba SEO said: “We’re so happy to support the great work of The Edinburgh Badminton Academy. Having taken up badminton in later life, I see the benefits of joining a club like EBA for physical and mental wellbeing. This is even more important for kids who have had a tough time in the last two or three years.”