It was a case of different year, familiar faces on the podium at the 2018/19 National Schools Badminton Championships final weekend as three of the four returning champions retained their places on the winners list.
As England’s best 36 school badminton teams competed for titles at the National Badminton Centre - home of the medal-winning England squad in Milton Keynes – it was The Reading School (KS4 Boys), Walthamstow Hall (KS4 Girls) and The Webber Independent School (KS3 Boys) who put up successful title defences.
The new name on the winners list for 2018/19 season belongs to regular finalists, King Edwards VI High School for Girls, who proved badminton’s best from the Black Country by turning last year’s top five finish into a Championship title in KS3.
The Birmingham based school won 19 of their 20 matches to top a podium also featuring Sheffield High School for Girls (silver) with Truro School, last year’s runners up, in third.
Significantly of the returning champs, The Reading School in Royal Berkshire have now won a heralded quintuple of titles – and completed four years of KS4 winning to justify their billing as kings of the court.
Their 2018/19 performance makes them the most celebrated team, title-wise, in the past 20 years of the Championships.
Likewise, it was back to back wins for The Webber Independent School who kept the KS3 Boys title in Buckinghamshire, winning 18 of their 20 games to see off the challenge of runners up Manchester Grammar and third placed Silverdale School.
Silverdale School took the KS3 honour as 2018/19’s best placed state school in taking bronze.
For Walthamstow Hall, they too ensured a title remained in Kent having swapped the KS3 Girls crown won last year for the KS4 equivalent this time around.
The title win was even more impressive given they beat the top seeded Chelmsford High School for Girls 4-1 in the title shoot out whilst playing a year young in the KS4 age group.
Walthamstow Hall’s Director of Sport, Rachael Leggett praised the girls’ efforts: “This is an outstanding achievement for such a young team and throughout the competition every team member showed such passion, determination, great team spirit and were great ambassadors for the school.”
Having started life in 1972 under the guise of ‘Top Schools – and with proud partner Babolat on board - a new era of the National Schools Championships tournament format continues to draw sizeable entry and interest from middle and secondary schools nationwide.
Online entry for the 2019/20 Championships is now open.
Check out www.badmintonengland.co.uk/NSC for details and to enter
2018/19 Winners List
1st place: The Webber Independent School
2nd place: The Manchester Grammar School
3rd place: Silverdale School (state school)
1st place: King Edward VI High School for Girls
2nd place: Sheffield High School for Girls
3rd place: Truro School
1st place: Reading School
2nd place: Tapton School (state school)
3rd place: Altrincham Grammar School for Boys (state school)
1st place: Walthamstow Hall
2nd place: Chelmsford High School (state School)
3rd place: Chulmleigh Community College (state school)