Abbeydale festival of badminton

Chloe Birch, Abbeydale coach and under-19 National Singles champion
Chloe Birch, Abbeydale coach and under-19 National Singles champion
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Almost 300 people flocked to Abbeydale Park Badminton Club last weekend for the club’s 2014 festival.

Club officials estimated that over 160 visited on the Saturday, with a further 130 enthusiasts and first-time players taking to the court on Sunday.

As well as free coaching and badminton kit stalls, those in attendance were treated to exhibition matches involving the likes of head coach Alex Marritt, who has over 100 caps for Yorkshire and was the 2013 winner of the British Universities Mens Singles Championships, and under-19 National Singles champion Chloe Birch.

Cristen Marritt, who represented the Isle of Man in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and former England internationals Mike Adams and Steve Butler were also on hand to offer tips and pointers.

Ian Sills, festival organiser, said: “Our Annual Festival & Open Weekend is a great way of getting people down to see what fantastic facilities we have at Abbeydale, and hopefully to attract a few more new members to the club.

“The quality of coaching we offer our juniors is some of the best in the country, and we plan on turning out more international players of Chloe’s standard in the future.”

One of the prize sponsors - Tim Hale, of Sheffield-based Champion Hire, added: “Watching badminton played at such a high standard is always a pleasure, and the Abbeydale Badminton Festival is a great event.

“It mixes high quality exhibition matches with the enthusiasm of the junior coaching sessions and the enjoyment of the new adult players, who realise that this might be something they could get into and enjoy playing.”

For more information on the club, visit www.abbeydalebadminton.co.uk.