The latest updates to our Return to Play guidance have been welcomed by members up and down the country as league play and increased bubble flexibility have allowed for even more of you to get back on court and back to badminton as we know it.
However, for many, the challenge of venue availability still remains to be an exasperating barrier to returning. This frustratingly familiar story was the case for Tavyside Badminton Club in Devon.
Over the past months, we have been working hard, with your help, to understand the playing landscape. You’ve been telling us in your hundreds whether your facility is open for badminton and have helped us raise awareness of the plight of badminton clubs up and down the country through lobbying with us to Government.
Fortunately, we are beginning to see the rewards of this paying off. Thanks to you, we now know the accessibility of over 600 venues across the country and have been able to assist some of our clubs who have been unable to play at their usual locations, in finding alternatives.
This was the case with Tavyside Badminton Club, who were advised that they would not be able to use their venue for many of their sessions from September onwards. The venue is due to only open during term time and will close at 8pm on weekdays. This meant that the club would be unable to run its club night on a Monday evening as well as reducing the number of junior coaching sessions on a Saturday morning to a maximum of just 33 sessions across the year.
This is where we stepped in.
We put Tavyside in touch with Mount Kelly College via Beautiful Schools – a venue finding website. Following some initial positive meetings, a decision was made to move their Monday evening session to the college prep school sports hall from the start of September. What’s more, the clubs is now also looking at the possibility of introducing badminton into the curriculum and running a coached session for the pupils in the prep school.
Without this support, Tavyside Badminton would have lost one of its key sessions as well as many junior coaching Saturdays. Members are thrilled to be back on court after a 6 month break and they now even have a balcony to watch play from…!