Melton OGs Badminton Club toasts year to remember

Robyn Warwick (right) with her doubles partner Ellie-Mae Smith EMN-190522-171724002
Robyn Warwick (right) with her doubles partner Ellie-Mae Smith EMN-190522-171724002
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Melton Old Grammarians Badminton club captain Neil Hunt hailed one of the club’s best years in recent times on and off the court.

The skipper believes a combination of well-attended club nights, good team performances and a major junior development programme has left the club in good shape.

“It was one of the best years OGs has enjoyed in a very long time,” he said.

“Adult membership remains particularly strong with club nights being extremely well attended.

“The test of the health of any club is the every day activity of its members and in addition to big numbers there has been a very enjoyable atmosphere at the club throughout the season.

“We have also seen solid team performances despite an extensive injury list that saw many of our stronger players miss a number of matches.”

In a competitive division, dominated by Longslade Stoneygate, the OGs mixed team finished a highly creditable third, while the men’s team won six of 10 matches to finish second in their division, narrowly missing out on promotion to a dominant Quorn team.

The OGs ladies had a tough season in their division which was dominated by Panthers and Croakers, but numbers continued to grow.

But Neil was most encouraged by the development of junior badminton in Melton after an OGs-led programme.

More than 350 children took part in the programme last season, while attendance at the OGs regular junior and intermediate coaching sessions remained strong.

“We are very fortunate that in Linda Hallam and Trevor Sanders we have two qualified coaches who devote endless time to our junior programme,” he added.

“And with great help from Clare Marlow, England Badminton, and Leicester-shire and Rutland Sport we have put in place a comprehensive programme which ensures children across the Melton area have access to our sport.”

OGs junior Robyn Warwick won the under 17s title at the Derek Meakin Memorial Cup, held at the Hermitage Leisure Centre, while Emma Coffey and Amy John finished fourth in their event.

The Leicestershire Badminton Association also recognised the long service of club stalwart Sandra Waterman by presenting her with the Meritorious Award at their annual dinner at Loughborough Town Hall.

Neil said: “Sandra’s service to both the club and Leicestershire badminton generally has been unstinting and the award is well deserved.

“Sandra reflects everything that is good about OGs as a club.

“All-in-all we can reflect on a great 2018/19 and the concentration is now on ensuring further improvement when the 19/20 season begins in September.”

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