First Edition

A historic Cornwall-based badminton club are seeing light at the end of the tunnel as they continue to bolster their numbers following the pandemic.

First Edition Badminton Club, based in Camborne, formed 50 years ago but found themselves low on players when they initially returned to action following various national lockdowns.

But Ian Shore, who played at the club as a youngster, has re-joined First Edition after four decades away from the court and helped the club attract other new and returning players by utilising online promotion.

“I was initially a bit shocked at the badminton situation in Cornwall,” said Shore, 54.

“There weren’t many players, there weren’t many clubs and it was all a bit lethargic, but then I came across four or five lads who were really good players at the local sports centre.

“It transpired that they played for First Edition. So I went to the club, and those four or five lads were the only ones playing.

“As it turned out, they’re the best players in Cornwall.”

When numbers dropped down to three players one week, the club was at risk of coming to an end after over 50 years.

However, Shore used the experience he gained promoting a five-a-side football league to give the club a greater online presence and a new lease of life.

Weekly attendance at First Edition has since risen to 18 over October half-term holidays, and Shore added that basic things like having a Facebook page, promoting on local groups and promotion through word of mouth have combined to boost numbers.

He now hopes the lessons he has learned can help other badminton clubs across the country as return to play initiatives continue at all levels.

“What I’ve learnt over the last couple of months is that there is a demand for badminton, the affection is still there, but you’ve got to do proactive things to get people back into it again,” he said.

“I’m no genius. I’ve done a few basic things to let people know that the club is still here and ready to welcome people.

“It’s the sort of thing I like doing and when there were three of us there I thought ‘just give me a year and let’s see how we do’.

“There are people out there. They just need to know that badminton is still going in the area and that they can come along and just get exercising again.”

Shore went on to emphasise the positive impact playing badminton and exercising can have on physical and mental health.

“It’s so important that we get back out there now and start exercising again,” he said.

“For so many reasons, but everyone is suffering with their mental health with what is going on.

“Just talking to people and getting some exercise is positive stuff, and we all need to start putting a bit of life into it.”

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