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BADMINTON SHOWCASE – School Games Opening Ceremony at Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral hosted the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 Sainsbury’s School Games on Friday, 7 Jun 2013. What a fantastic backdrop for an event that saw young sportsmen and performers gather together to demonstrate their skills and to take the pledge for the School Games.Cathedral 

Badminton Gloucestershire was represented by BG Performance and benefited from the assistance of the University of Gloucestershire (Emily Young) and Badminton England (Emma Austin) to showcase a demonstration of badminton drills and routines from a range of players at different ability levels.

BG Performance took over the Lady Chapel at the very far end of the Cathedral. A short, fat court was marked out on the flagstones and all activity was conducted there. The sun streamed in through the wonderful stained glass windows and although this was a spectacular back drop it meant the shuttle was very difficult to see. The players coped well with the unevenness of the flagstones and completed their routines without injury, which was something of a relief. The footfall for the showcase was not great but local press took some action shots and a video was made so we hope to gain some exposure for badminton, Badminton Gloucestershire and its performance centre.


The youngest players, from the Raw Group, were Amy Oakley and Raiph Ackroyd (l to r), who showed how a typical knock up should be conducted prior to a match.


The next players, from the Developing Group and slightly older than Amy and Raiph) were in a block of six consisting of (from l to r) Rory Farwell (the current Gloucestershire U13 Champion at Singles and Mixed Doubles), Henry Jones (a finalist at the Gloucestershire Restricted Championship at U15 Singles and Mixed Doubles and also at U17 Singles), Joanna Gresty ( the current Gloucestershire U15 Girls Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion and also a finalist in the Girls Singles), Matilda Tierney (the current Gloucestershire Champion at U15 Girls Singles and Girls Doubles and also a finalist in the Mixed Doubles), Paul McCrimmond (a PC player who represents Avon in his County Team), Callum Farrington (the current Gloucestershire Champion at U15 Boys Doubles). Their showcase involved drills for knock ups, smashing, dropping and driving.


The senior players were led by (l to r) Andy Woolway (the Performance Centre Assistant Head Coach and current Gloucestershire Men’s Doubles Champion and supported by Joe Honeybone (Andy’s Men’s Doubles partner), Matt Siddle (current Gloucestershire Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles Champion) and Nicola Gresty (current Gloucestershire and Welsh Champion at GirlsSingles, Doubles and Mixed and also a junior England international). Their routine and drills were more intensive and to a consistently higher standard something the younger players strive for in their training. 




The Gloucestershire badminton arena is extremely active and although not a rich organisation believes in supporting charitable organisations that cover those less fortunate than the generally fit and active players involved. 


The Performance Centre section of Badminton Gloucestershire runs a number of BADMINTON England sanctioned tournaments each year and gives 10% of those tournament profits to charity. The chosen charity for the 2012/2013 season was Cloud 9 based on it being a local charity that benefits local youngsters less fortunate than the active talented members of BG Performance.


It was with great pleasure that a recent BG Performance training session at the University of Gloucestershire took a few minutes off to welcome Liz White MBE, the Charity Director of Cloud 9, and John Lewis, one of the charity’s trustees.


Liz gave a short talk about the work of the charity and a cheque for just under £300 was presented by Becky Pantaney, Badminton Gloucestershire’s Head Coach, Commonwealth Gold Medallist and Olympic Torch Bearer.




Becky Pantaney presenting the cheque to Liz White


Presentation 2


Liz and Becky with the Cloud 9 mascots and 

players from the Badminton Gloucestershire Performance Centre.






Cloud 9 is a local charity that works to provide holidays for children in Gloucestershire who suffer from acute and chronic illness. Many of these children have spent long periods in hospital and undergone painful treatments. Some have had to endure an extensive regime of medications and therapies on a daily basis that have denied them the freedom of a trouble free childhood, which we all take for granted.


Badminton Gloucestershire was formed in 2012 to cover the existing county badminton association (now called BG County), the performance centre (established in 2010 and now called BG Performance) and a new organisation called BG Community which caters for all players (both competitive and social) not covered by the other two organisations. BG Performance draws its high quality/high potential players from Gloucestershire and surrounding counties.


For contact:


Cloud 9 –

BG Community –

BG County –

BG Performance –


For further information:


Cloud 9 –

Badminton Gloucestershire –

BG Performance –

Olympic Torch Bearer –

BG Performance Pen Picture – Rebecca Pantaney –




Lille Competition Report


Three players from the Badminton Gloucestershire Performance Centre travelled to France on 18 Apr to take part in a tournament held at the Aire sur la Luys badminton club. The players were Bex Pantaney (BG Head Coach and Commonwealth gold medallist), Ben Compton (a PC coach) and Liam Dutson.


After a hard training session with the Aire sur la Luys badminton club on the Thursday and a good rest day on Friday Dutson, Compton and Pantaney went into the competition feeling confident and prepared after training in both venues.


The start of the competition on Saturday morning was good for all three players and some success carried forward into the Sunday. 


Dutson and Compton both won their groups and knocked out the 3rd and 5th seed players in their category along the way. In the afternoon Compton won his last 16 game in 3 sets against Fabien Kunej 21-10, 16-21, 21-13. Dutson also won his last 16 game 21-11, 21-14. Dutson and Compton went into their quarter final games full of confidence but had to be content with their quarter-final ranking after both meeting tough opposition. The games were quite close but were lost 17-21, 16-21 (Dutson) and 17-21, 15-21 (Compton). 


Pantaney won both of her singles games on the Saturday so was looking forward (?) to a very busy Sunday. Pantaney dismantled the game of the number 1 seed in the competition and also went on to beat her doubles partner Aurielle in 3 sets 21-18, 17-21, 21-15 to win the highest grade ladies singles event in the whole competition.


Dutson also played on the Sunday morning in the mixed doubles. Losing in the last 16 of the competition with French partner Nathalie in 3 sets 22-20, 15-21, 19-21. 


Pantaney was back on court (with her partner) at lunchtime on Sunday against a strong semi final pair in the ladies doubles but won in two sets after a very good performance. In between all of these games Pantaney had also played two mixed doubles games but narrowly lost them both with partner Julien and was therefore eliminated from that event. 


The final game of the day for the English group was the ladies doubles final. Pantaney and her partner were number 2 seeds and were up against the number 1 seeds so both pairs were expected to be in the final. Unfortunately after a long match where both Pantaney and Aurielle were using their very last bit of energy and skill they lost a great 3 set match 18-21, 21-11, 14-21.


This was an enjoyable but tiring experience for the three players but with a very creditable set of results.


Badminton Gloucestershire comprises a performance centre, community section and county association and thus offers badminton opportunities for anyone. 


The Unipart/Forza Badminton Futures Tournament, hosted by Badminton Gloucestershire at the University of Gloucestershire, was held on 24th March 2013. The competition is aimed at school level players and offers a fun environment that will give youngsters (from Year 5 to Year 11) the opportunity to experience competitive play without meeting county and other representative players from their school year group. Sunday’s tournament was the regional heat and winners will be invited to the National Final in June 2013.


Nineteen schools were represented with forty-two youngsters produced fifty entries. Gold and silver medals were presented to each age group winner and runner-up.


The Year 5/6 Boys’ Singles was won convincingly by Reece Watts (Harewood Juniors) with Raiph Ackroyd (Leckhampton Primary) narrowly pipping Joel Downward (Prestbury St Mary’s) to the runner-up spot. The Year 7 Boys’ Singles was won by Koushik Karthikeyan (Pates) with Drew Lipscombe (Balcarras) as runner-up. The Year 8/9 Boys’ Singles was won by Zach Webb (Cirencester Deer Park) with Nathan Smith (Cirencester Deer Park) as runner up. Although these were the only two youngsters from that school they performed extremely well and promise good things for badminton in the Cirencester area in years to come. The Year 10/11 Boys’ Singles elimination stage saw Alex Ireland (King’s School) edge out Ian Clarke-Coast (Pates) 21-20 in the final.


The Year 5/6 and Year 7 Boys’ Doubles were combined to make a box of three pairs and this was the most closely-contested box with only three points separating each of the pairs. Raiph Ackroyd and Joel Downward (Leckhampton Primary Year 5/6 and Prestbury St Mary’s Year 5/6) topped the group with Drew Lipscombe and Joey Turner (both from Balcarras Year 7) coming second. Ed Blackburn and Reece Watts (Dinglewell Juniors and Harewood Juniors) came third and took the Year 5/6 silver medal. The Year 10/11 Boys’ Doubles resulted in the Cirencester Deer Park pairing of Nathan Smith and Zach Webb build on their singles success by taking the gold medal with Alex Ireland and Adam Richardson (both from King’s School) worthy runners up.


The Year 5/6 and Year 7 Girls’ Singles were combined to form a box of five. The Year 7 girls proved to be too strong for the Year 5/6 girls in the box although Vivien Jennings-Trace (High School for Girls) lifted the Year 5/6 gold medal. Hester Miles and Hannah Evill (both from Stroud High School) took gold and silver medals for Year 7. The Year 8/9 Girls’ Singles resulted each losing score being 10 – an unfortunate coincidence for the losers but the games were somewhat closer than those scores may suggest. Ellen Jennings-Trace (High School for Girls) and Chloe Haywood (Thomas Keble) win the gold and silver medals. The Year 10/11 Girls’ Singles was decided in a 21-18 games between Raveena Amlani (Bournside) and Anoushka Sadhu (High School for Girls) – Raveena was quite relieved to get the gold medal with Anoushka well deserving of her silver medal.


The Year 7 and Year 8/9 Girls’ Doubles were combined with the Year 7 pairing of Hannah Evill and Zoe Osborne (both from Stroud High School) coming second in the mixed age group and taking the gold medal for their own age group. Of the Year 8/9 girls Ellen Jennings-Trace and Anna McQuillan (High School for Girls and Balcarras topped the group with the silver medal going to Lauren Dowdeswell and Chloe Haywood (both from Thomas Keble). The Year 10/11 Girls’ Doubles was probably the most thrilling and closely contested box in the tournament. Laura Hayward and Emily Imeson (Balcarras) beat Becky McQuillan and Georgia Smith (also Balcarras) in the deciding game 21-20.


Although some schools produced excellent results it was encouraging to see so many youngsters from so many schools taking part. 


Badminton Gloucestershire is a one-stop shop for badminton within Gloucestershire comprising a county association, a performance centre and a community division and seeks to provide opportunities for all. Volunteers also came for the Falcons Junior Badminton Club (managed by the BG Community Director) and from Glos*Stars Badminton Club – – who run exciting programmes at GL1 for all ages and levels of ability.