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Published: Thursday, 18 June 2015 18:52

aba_ado  PENNY SHEARS.     CONTACT: Tel: 07941-013514

Published: Friday, 09 September 2016 18:52

Development Report for Season 2015/2016 AGM

Change and exciting has to be the words I would use for this season. As we have lost Brenda and Steve Bird from the committee who have worked tirelessly on behalf of Avon with regards to Affiliation, Events and County teams, we now have a new Chairman/Vice Chairman/Secretary/ Affiliation Secretary and Coaching Coordinator. With regards to exciting, we now have 4 teams representing Avon in the Senior County Championship. We have a development squad which is going from strength to strength and more juniors playing than ever before thanks to the hard work and enthusiasm of the Junior club coaches and volunteers. Avon have also entered the National Junior Badminton League this season which will give some our young players the opportunity to play at the Badminton England headquarters in Milton Keynes. We also have; thanks to our new Chairman an NBL League team which will play in the 2016/2017 season.

BISI festival

This was held at Cotham school in July with 6 primary schools were due to attend this festival but unfortunately only 2 schools turned up on the day. The 20+ children who attended seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully will have been inspired to play Badminton. Thank you to my helpers on the day.

Summer Tournament

This was run by Brenda and Steve at Wellsway in July and this was aimed at non league players and social players. Numbers were good with 51 entries and we are hoping to run it again this year, date still to be fixed.

Coaching session at Thornbury

20 people from Avon attended a coaching session at Thornbury Leisure Centre in July. Ian Day from Academy UK Club in Glos ran the session. The feed back was very positive and I was asked to organise some more of these. The idea was to hold them in different venues and to ask different coaches to run them. I believe Chris Evans the new coaching coordinator has run some sessions during the season.

Satellite Clubs and sessions in Primary Schools

Ongoing discussions are being held with Wesport with regards to trying to get more primary schools involved. The main problem is lack of availability of coaches who are able to go into schools during curriculum time or 3pm. I am hoping that Badminton England will help us to address the shortage of coaches able to work during school hours by running some more coaching courses.

Junior Club League

This season has seen the introduction of 2 new age groups so we now have U12/U14/U16 and U18 categories. Chew Valley, Portishead, St Ursula’s, Uphill and Yate Racketeers have all entered teams with some incredibly close matches. The winners of the 2015 – 2016 season are U12 Uphill, U14 St Ursula’s, U16 Uphill and U18 Chew Valley. Congratulations to all the players and thanks go as usual to all the volunteers who enable these matches to be played.

National Schools Championship  

Over 6,400 school teams taking part with 4 rounds of competitive badminton starting in December and culminating in a National Finals weekend. The County round was held at UWE on 29th January with winning schools from the B&NES, Bristol,N Som and South Glos rounds taking part. Mark Marsh organised this with Badminton England and Hannah Davis from Wesport. Thanks also go to Judy White, Bronny and Peter Bennett, Evelyn Heighton and Moira Roberts for their help. Thank you also to Mangotsfield school who provided a team of Young Officials to help with the scoring. Gordano, Bristol Grammar and Badminton School went through as winners of this County round. The regional round was held in Plymouth with Gordano girls going through to the National Final for the 3rd year in a row as winners. I have just been informed but am awaiting details and photo that Gordano came 4th out of the 9 schools who contested the Key Stage 4 finals. Fantastic achievement and congratulations.

Rob Newmarch Cup

Wonderful ladies doubles tournament held at Wellsway, Will Mellersh organised this with Bob Hammersley and Amy Mellersh aged 12 running it on the day. A unique event which I hope will be a permanent fixture in the calendar, 33 ladies( yes that’s correct 33) eligible to play for Avon took part and played some competitive, fun and exhausting Badminton. A wonderful way to remember Rob. Thank you to all involved.

National Junior Badminton League

This is a new initiative from Badminton England which is aimed at junior players who are not playing in tournament circuits and currently have limited access to competitive opportunities. Avon have elected to run this league on one day rather than include it in with the Junior Club league. The main reason being it follows the NBL format with best of 3 games to 9 points and teams must be mixed comprising of a min of 2 girls and 2 boys. There will be 5 events consisting of boys singles, girls singles, boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles. The Avon competition is being held on May 8th at Thornbury Leisure Centre with the winning teams going through to finals at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes on 11th/12th June. Clubs who have entered are Chew Valley, Clevedon, Uphill, St Ursula’s and Yate Racketeers.

Junior Club DoublesTournament

Fantastic entry for this tournamentwhich was held at Thornbury, in the boys competition we had 8 pairs at U12 and U14 with 6 pairs at U16 . In the girls we had 5 pairs at U12 and U14 with 6 pairs at U16. The standard was high and the feedback from children, coaches and parents was really encouraging as they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and wanted to know when the next tournament was going to be held. The behaviour and enthusiasm of the children was without exception brilliant and we had some delightful email’s thanking us. Thanks go to Bronny and Peter Bennett from Severnvale Club for running it and all the hardworking volunteers on the day Amy Mellersh, Lucy Denning, Evelyn Heighton, Cathy Jowett, Roger Shears and Ashular Bansal for their help on the day

Thank you

To all the volunteers who enable the clubs and events to happen throughout the year without your enthusiasm and commitment these events would not happen.

Penny Shears

Published: Friday, 09 September 2016 18:50

Development Report for Avon Council meeting 9th February 2016

Inter Schools

Early rounds.

Banes -   I wasn’t informed of dates or results but Chew Valley won through. I believe teams from Wellsway, Haysfield, Ralph Allen, Beechen Cliff and Norton Hill took part. Chew Valley represented Banes in the County final

I also found out from the Wesport site that there was a primary school completion held in Banes with 5 schools entered. But I have been unable to find details.

North Som -   Gordano represented them for County Final

South Glos - Brimham Green and Mangotsfield repsented them but they did not enter a Key Stage 3 Girls team so Cotham took their place in the County final.

Bristol - Competition held in Jan with teams from Badminton School, Red Maids, Bristol Grammar and Cotham. Unfortunately Cotham are the only state school who seem to enter now. Badminton School and Bristol Grammar went through as winners.

Inter Schools - County Final

This was held at UWE on 29th Jan with teams the winning teams from Banes, Bristol, North Som and South Glos taking part.

Mark Marsh organised this with Lee Ward (Badminton England Regional Officer) and Hannah Davis from Wesport. Thanks also go to Judy White, Bronny and Peter Bennett, Evelyn Heighton, Neil Hutcheon and Moria Roberts for their help on the day and Mangotsfield school who provided a team of Young Officials.

Key Stage 3 boys winners Gordano and Key Stage 3 Girls Badminton School

Key Stage 4 boys winners Bristol Grammar and Key Stage 4 Girls Gordano.

Congratulations to all the competitors and a big thank you to the PE staff from the various schools. Good luck to all the winning teams for the Regional round in Plymouth.

National Junior Badminton League

Avon have entered a team and just need to play some matches! This is proving quite difficult and time consuming but it looks as though we have a Bristol Schools competition for U14 beginners.

I was invited to the December meeting of the heads of PE for Bristol and put forward a proposal for a Junior League. They decided that rather than a league they would hold a one off day for beginners in the U14 age group. 2 girls and 2 boys in a team. A date of 9th June has been proposed. 6 schools have shown an interest at the moment.

Banes – I have sent a letter out via David Burston the SGO for Banes and unfortunately only had 1 reply from Wellsway School. I have also been informed that Ralph Allen wish to enter a team, so hope to have a match.

Clubs - We will hold a one off day where they enter a team of 2 girls and 2 boys playing in a NBL format, it will be U12 and U14. Date and venue to be fixed, probably May.

I would have liked to invite the schools to send their winning teams through to play against the clubs but unfortunately due to them setting a June date this cannot happen.

At the present time only 2 Counties are showing on BE website as having entered teams so whether there will be a National Final we will have to wait and see. At the moment the finals are set to be held in June somewhere arranged by BE, no date or venue fixed.

We have been given £500 towards this league and have been told that we will not be asked for it back so I am hopeful that even if Bristol Schools do not hold an event this year they will hold one in Sept – Dec next year. This is the term they said would work the best for them, hopefully the other areas might also hold a competition for beginners, a lot of schools have said that they no longer enter the National Inter Schools as the standard is too high but they are interested in a beginners event.

Bristol TV

Avon were approached by Subs Bench which is a dedicated sports channel made by Bristol TV mainly dealing with Football and Rugby, they also have a slot for minority sports. Having discussed with Ian Gorham it was decided that as they wanted grass roots and participation we would concentrate on a club rather than the higher county end. They wanted to film on a Wednesday night at a club in Bristol so I arranged with the Academy Club. 2 members of the club and myself were interviewed.   The programme is called subs bench and the I have been informed that we might be able to do a follow up slot with the higher end of Avon Badminton or Juniors. As far as I am aware it should go out on Friday 5th unless something Football related happens! I have been informed they might do a follow up report where we can include the NBL Bristol Jets and our international/development/county players.

Junior Club League

Matches have continued to have been played with unfortunately some clubs proving to be far too strong and consequently some very one sided matches. Some of the matches however have been very close and in the U18 age group there are a couple of clubs who could win the league this year. This is one of the problems because a club obviously wishes to win if they are in a position to do so but by sending a strong team that wins 20 games to nil sometimes puts children off from never playing competitive badminton again or even worse they stop playing altogether.

Thornbury Club Tournament

This is being held at Thornbury on 21st February. Help is needed as one or two of the usual volunteers are unable to help. 10.30 – 5pm any time that you can spare would be welcome. U12/U14 and U16 Girls and Boys Doubles. Please contact myself if you can help.

Coaching Courses

There have been 2 UKCC Level 1 courses held in the area one in Cheltenham and one in Hengrove. but I have not had time to follow up on these to see if we have any local people on the course. Not sure if Chris has a record of the successful candidates.

Feathers Tournament

This is a singles tournament for non county juniors, so club and school players. Mark Marsh from St Ursulas Club has set a date of 10th April and will host and run it again this year.

Published: Friday, 09 September 2016 18:47

Development Report for Council Meeting 12th November 2015


Feathers Tournament run by Mark Marsh and Neil from St Ursula’s junior club for non county players, good entry of 36 players. Many of these players were asked to attend some junior county sessions. Still short on girls!

Coaching Session Thornbury

20 people from Avon attending a coaching session held at Thornbury Leisure Centre. The feed back was very positive and I was asked to organise some more of these sessions. The idea would to hold them in different venues and to ask different coaches to run them. This one was run by Ian Day from Academy UK Club from Glos.


      Junior Restricted

It was decided that we would run a Junior Restricted tournament, this has not happened for a number of years but was a huge success.

It was held at Wellsway Sports Centre we had 98 entries U11/U13 and U15. This proved to be very challenging as we had 234 matches to be played on one day.

Bob Hammersely did a fantastic job as organiser, thank you Bob without you it wouldn’t have happened. I would also like to thank all the volunteers on the day we would not have managed to get through the matches without you. I have been asked to make special mention of Callum O’Riordan from Chew Valley who worked tirelessly all day making sure the players were ready to play.

Coaching and Tournament

Meeting to see if a Coaching session and a Tournament could be held at Next Generation/David Lloyd centre Westbury on Trym. This would be open to all not just members of Next Generation. No dates fixed as yet.

Charity Event.

Discussions with manager at Kingsdown Leisure Centre. Pearl Maynard wanted to run a charity Badminton tournament. This was cancelled due to lack of demand and a change of ideas as to how it would work.

Satellite Clubs

Discussions with Ian Wells at Wesport as to any coaches available and clubs willing to be a Satellite Club.

Bristol Grammar have shown an interest but the problem is lack of UKCC Level 2 coaches in the area. Mark Marsh has agreed to do the coaching.

National BE Junior Schools League

Discussions with BE and application on behalf of Avon Juniors to be included with the new Junior league initiative. This would involve schools and Junior clubs taking part with the winners going forward to a final in May/June. No financial outlay required to enter on the counties behalf. It would be run along the same format as the NBL League.


       Junior Club League.

The fixtures meeting was held on Wednesday 16th September. It was decided to alter the age catagories and include a couple of younger age groups so we now have U12/U14/U16 and U18 leagues.

            U12   -   Chew Valley and Uphill.

            U14   -   Chew Valley/St Ursula’s and Uphill

            U16   -   Chew Valley/Uphill and Yate Racketeers

           U18   -   Chew Valley/Portishead/St Ursula’s/Yate Racketeers and Uphill.

Because there are only 2 teams in the U12 they are playing home and away all the other categories are playing home or away. Details and results of matches on website

Beaufort/Strode L.C. and Severnvale clubs are going to play some friendlies but are not actually playing in the league.


A UKCC Level 1 Coaching course taking place in Cheltenham. We have 2 candidates that I am aware of from Avon. Claire Buckingham who is assisting with the Development squad and County 3rd team manager and Lucy Denning from Raysfield who also attends the Development squad. It is very difficult to find out who is actually attending the courses and consequently we do not know of any new coaches in the area. I am hoping Chris Evans might be able to chase this problem with BE.Chris has taken over as coaching coordinator from Nicky Finch and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicky for the very efficient job she did for the past 2 years.

Forthcoming events.

Sainbury’s Winter School Games.

This is the Centre Parcs Inter Schools games that Brenda and Steve helped by Avon volunteers ran last year (no longer Centre Parcs as they are not sponsoring England Badminton). Mark Marsh has agreed to lead on this as Brenda and Steve will not be available this year. The date is January 29th and it will be held at UWE 1pm – 4pm and I will be asking for volunteers again.

Junior Club Tournament.

Bronny Bennett from Severnvale club will run this again. This is a tournament for non county players who in Avon. It is being held on Sunday 21st February at Thornbury Leisure Centre.

Feathers Tournament

Mark Marsh from St Ursula’s will run this April 10th is the date booked.

Ladies Tournament

Will Mellhersh has suggested a ladies doubles team tournament in memory of Rob Newmarch and Bob Hamersley has agreed along with myself to help organise. He is suggesting that 6 teams be invited from possibly Bristol Uni/UWE/NS League/Bristol League/Avon Master’s and Avon U17.


This seems to have ground to a halt at the moment. The reason being given is that we do not have the workforce to deliver the initiatives that Wesport and BE want.

We desperately need more coaches and more Junior clubs. We also need more clubs to be formed for social players not just league clubs.

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