The Badminton Club at Brunel, and throughout uni-land, is always considered to be a quiet club who concentrate on their sport, they're not fussed about hosting fancy-dress nights in various nightclubs or gaining 'legendary' status on tour, just focussing on winning matches and leagues. And this is what they have achieved again this year.
When I became Chairman of the Club my aims were to get at least two teams promoted. This was a very conservative aim as our Men’s 1st team, through a very strong intake of players at the start of the year and returning students from placements, were going to walk league 2A, and our Men’s 2nd team had just been relegated so were, in my eyes, favourites to go back up. The ladies team also benefitted from a strong intake of players at the start of the year so consolidation in a very tough league was achievable once more. The introduction of a mixed team in the LUSL leagues meant that three promotions were accomplishable.
As I sit here writing this piece contemplating over the outcomes of the season, I can’t help but be proud of all players from all teams who played incredibly throughout the season. Overall, the team achieved the set goal of getting two teams promoted this season. The Men’s 1st did walk their league, losing just once to Reading 1sts on their way to winning the title, before losing a dead rubber against Imperial just the other day. Our Mixed team were unbeaten in their league winning most matches 9-0 or 8-1. There was the occasional close shave, only just beating Royal Holloway 5-4 in an epic match but it was mostly a walk in the park. The Ladies team avoided relegation and the Men’s 2nd team finished mid-table.
The biggest test for our players would be the BUCS Individual Championships at Sheffield in February, and so it proved to be. A Brunel student, Nathan D’Cruz, won the Individual Championships four years ago and inspired by his victory we travelled up north to Sheffield. The best moment in our three days of matches was our top mixed doubles pair of Lee Ackerman (Ranked top 20 in England) and Katrine Kranker reached the 5th round beating a Sheffield Hallam pair on their own patch in front of their supporters. An incredible victory. Also, our top Men’s doubles pair (Lee again with player/coach Andy Robinson) reaching the Quarter-Finals before losing to the 2nd seeds was another highlight of a very tough weekend of games. It’s safe to say the draw could have been a lot kinder to all of us!
I could go on and on about various victories throughout the year, and talk about every player and of how much I am proud of them but your interest in badminton has probably faded somewhat by now. But we have one more match this year…Varsity! Badminton has never let Brunel down. You can guarantee at least 1.5 points from us every year. We’re on first on the 18th March 9am Netball Hall (apparently); we’ll turn up and get Brunel off to a winning start probably even before the rest of the teams have eaten their cornflakes for breakfast.