My love of badminton is relatively new; I only began playing about a year ago when a group of friends started to teach me over the summer break between finishing school and starting university. I came to Surrey with the intention of joining a badminton society, and I start my second year a member of the UOSBC committee as a Social Secretary. Now, I honestly couldn’t imagine not having badminton as a part of my life, and I’ve met some of the best people through this sport.
On Sunday 6th October, we aim to throw one of the biggest charity events of the year, across both sports clubs and societies, and all proceeds from our 12 hour Badmin-thon will be going towards Disability Challengers.
Disability Challengers are a local charity that runs play and youth schemes around Surrey and Hampshire, with full-time centres in Guildford and Farnham. Between these centres, they provide 1400 disabled children and young people leisure opportunities, which also gives families a much-needed short break from daily challenges they face. But these schemes are costly, and cannot be covered by statutory funds, and that’s why we decided to run a charity event for them.
Rob, the President, Jonny, the Vice-President, and Joss, our Fundraising Officer who began and has led this project for UOSBC, gave up some of their time to help explain a bit more about who we are, and how and why you should get involved.
Why did you join UOSBC when you started at Surrey?
Jonny: I used to play at school, and then again at my last university, and I love to play badminton. I find that it’s also a pretty easy sport because you can simply pick up a racquet and play, so pretty much anyone can get involved.
Rob: Similar to Jonny, I’ve played badminton since I was about 11, I played with my school and then continued at university. It is just such a great place to meet new people and make new friends, especially at uni when you spend most of your time with your course mates.
Joss: I’ve always played Badminton, since I was young, and when I started at Surrey I was actually overwhelmed by the number of people that were at Active Fresher’s, so walked away from the sport until 2nd year. This was when I came to a session with one of my housemates who represents badminton for Team Surrey, and I found that the social sessions catered for all abilities, and all my fellow players were chatty and easy to get on with.
What makes UOSBC different to other clubs at the university?
Joss: Like the other clubs, we are competitive and take BUCS matches seriously, but badminton is a sport that anyone can join in with! The Sunday social sessions cater to a mixture of abilities, and everyone mixes together. You meet loads of people, and improve quickly by playing against different standards.
Rob: Can I say more? It is such a fun, fast sport, and we are a friendly and sociable club.
Why are you doing this event?
Joss: With the amount of people who show interest in badminton every year, we saw this as an incredible opportunity to start the year by bringing as many new students, community members, badminton clubs and Surrey Societies together to raise money for such a fantastic cause, and we can really do a lot of good for Challengers in not only raising money, but providing the children with a day out.
Rob: It’s such a lovely, local-to-Guildford charity, and it’s a great chance to play badminton if you’ve never played before and meet new people. We’ve got a lot of activities going on, we’ve got Stag Radio coming down, a signed Arsenal football to be won, amongst so many other activities on the day.
Why should you come along?
Joss: whatever your experience or inexperience, it’s a chance for you to come and have a go, plus ensure that these kids and young people have a fantastic Christmas supported by Disability Challengers.
Rob: You can play against Steve the Stag, and that must be on everyone’s bucket list! Plus, a Badminton England player is coming down and you can play against him for just 50p. If that isn’t interesting enough, there’s also a raffle with some amazing prizes; you can’t get bored.
Jonny: It’s a great escape from general student life, and a way to see what we do and how we get on with things; this is our way of reaching out to the community and giving something back. I think we often like to sit on our campus and we don’t like to associate or mix with our fellow “Guildfordians”. We really just want to get as many people involved as possible.
We have split the day into different themed hours to ensure that there is something that will interest everyone, both on and off the court. Here’s just a selection of what we’ll be offering:
- Meet Badminton England’s Toby Penty
- Raffle with star prizes
- Stag Radio DJ
- Snack shop ft. Krispy Kremes
- A chance to play against Steve the Stag
- £5 coaching offered (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a slot)
For a suggested donation of £3 per hour, it’s a bargain! So whether you want to start your day at 7am with a hit about on the court, or rock up and play later in the afternoon to work off that hangover from Saturday night, it will hopefully be a rather special day.
Check out more on our Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1197786880232583/
Text by Olivia Mitchell
Photos taken from the University of Surrey Badminton Club page.