LLANFERRES BADMINTON CLUB GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
LLANFERRES BADMINTON CLUB GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH WITH 20 YEARS OF COMPETITIVE AND SOCIAL BADMINTON
Llanferres Badminton Club is a well-established competitive and social club based in Denbighshire, with senior and junior teams in the North East Wales Leagues.
The club was formed in May 1997 by Jane Clough, a former Welsh Junior and Senior International player. With a handful of enthusiastic new members, the club had the summer of ‘97 to arrange players to practice in the hope of having a team ready for the start of the ‘97/98 season. From day one the club had a junior and a senior membership and the aim was to create a community club that was fun, competitive and above all social. At that time very few of the members had ever played competitive badminton before.
The club played at a small one-court village hall in the village of Llanferres, in the hills between Mold and Ruthin. The single court proved to be a particular challenge for coaches of the juniors, who had to be imaginative and resourceful, and during league match nights, which often ran into the early hours of the following morning! The club did try to compensate for the single court and late nights and were well known for providing a good spread of refreshments for visiting teams and in common with Northop (the other club playing at a single court hall at that time) had a much appreciated local pub close to hand.
Initially, the annual cost of booking the village hall court for a year was £60 and this was funded by club fees (adults £1 per evening and a £10 registration fee and juniors 50p with a junior coaching fee at £7.50 for 10 weeks). Financial help was forthcoming from Llanferres Community Council plus a Sport Wales Community Chest grant via Denbighshire County Council.
By January 2000 the club boasted 13 juniors (2 teams in the Junior League) and 26 adults (2 teams in the Senior League).With a growing membership and juniors who were reaching a good standard, the club decided that a move from the village hall was essential. In the first instance the club moved to the 4 court hall at Ruthin School but for the last 10 years, home has been Ruthin Leisure Centre. The club did return to the village hall one season to be able to provide for a competitive C team, but is now firmly established at Ruthin Leisure Centre. Many club members are still from Llanferres but others come from surrounding villages and a few even further afield.
In its 20th year, the senior club now boasts 3 teams in the North East Wales league, each team comprising 4 men and 4 ladies and hopes that the A team can maintain its position in the 1st Division whilst the B team can hopefully get into the 2nd Division, then providing a team in each of the 3 divisions.The club’s junior section continues to thrive under the guidance of qualified coaches Jane Givelin and Claire Halestrap. Over the years several Llanferres junior players have been selected to represent Welsh National Squads, with Eli Clough and Carys Jones representing Wales. Many more juniors are in county squads and club teams competing in the North East Wales Junior League with hopefully three teams in 2017/18. Local Ruthin secondary school Ysgol Brynhyfryd was successful in winning the Wales Top team competition in 2005 with a team wholly selected from pupils living in the nearby village of Llanferres. Many club juniors have moved away but continue to play at University and into their adult lives which Llanferres Club considers to be a rewarding achievement.
The club has always been inclusive and members of all abilities are made to feel welcome. Socialising after playing, through a quick half at the local pub, adds to the badminton enjoyment and helps create a great club atmosphere.The club still has some of the original members, some of whom, it must be said are playing better than they were back in 1997 (and some claim to be!). Evergreen Jane Givelin is a current Wales Masters Champion, whilst Dave Clough, who represented Wales in an international quadrangular v the home nations, is a stalwart at the club.
So ….. Llanferres Badminton Club is still going from strength to strength and looking forward positively to the next twenty years.
The badminton season started with news that in the First Division one of the top clubs, Airbus, has dropped out of the North East Wales Badminton League whilst Eros, a new Buckley based club, has joined the third division. With the talent and experience Eros are bringing to the third division some interesting match scores are predicted.
In Division 1, title holders Flint Phoenix A got off to a flying start with a comfortable 6 – 2 win over newly promoted visitors Llanferres A. At third mixed Andy Gibbons and Holly Hill combined well but found the experience and guile of evergreens Dave Clough and Jane Givelin too much to handle and went down in three competitive games 21/14, 15/21 and 17/21.
With home advantage Denbigh A took on Mold B and in a closely contested match took the honours 5 – 3. Denbigh’s Wayne Cooper and Helen Evans were seriously tested by the new mother and son partnership of Trish and Liam Hird at third mixed. Thirteen year old Liam did his chances of promotion to the Welsh Junior Academy a power of good when he played outstanding badminton and with Trish dominating the net, the family duo won by 21/23, 21/19 and 21/19.
Division 2 saw Rossett B take on Flint Phoenix b and secure a convincing 6 – 2 win. Flint’s winners were in both ladies doubles and playing at second Jane Liddle was in great form; together with Nicola White they showed no mercy to Hazel Davies and Jo Pritchard easily defeating them 21/15, 21/9.
Prestatyn got off to a solid start in their second season in Division 3 when they visited Denbigh and held them to a 4 -4 draw. Match of the evening was a three game thriller which saw Deri Cottle and Jane Thomas just losing out to Steffan Jones and Caitlin Dolan by 21/19, 19/21 and 9/21.