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NELBDG

The North East Lincolnshire Badminton Development Group (NELBDG) was incepted in 1997 following an initiative by the North East Lincs Council to help promote minority sports.

The group received a small grant from the council and the guarantee of admin support for the first year to get things started and the success has been phenomenal. From just one club session with around 20 players the group now operates at least one club every day with a membership of over 500 players.

During the inaugural year the group had four committee members all with dual roles:

Dave Blanch, Chairman and Lead Coach
Brian Pleasance, Secretary and Coach
Joanne Greetham, Treasurer an Coach
Derrick Haughton, Schools Publicity Officer and Coach

After just a few months, it was clear that the group where going places, but the task of re-developing what was a dying sport in the area, was going to be no mean task.

A constitution was drafted with the help of the NELC Sports Development Unit, which paved the pathway for the professional standards that the group has always aspired to promote. The group have been committed to promote excellence by example from the staff and that standard has never wavered.

The committee, inspired by Dave Blanch, set about formulating a ten year pyramid system to achieve success. At the bottom of the pyramid, it required hundreds of children being introduced to the sport via a schools taster session programme. Some of these children would then advance to junior development cells, followed a junior academy for excellence, which would then lead them into adult play within the groups clubs.

Derrick and Jo, took the sport into the schools and within months, the group formed partnerships with SLM (Sports and Leisure Management) who looked after the Leisure Centres at Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Immingham and the Grimsby College (now Gy Institute), to set up four more clubs under the supervision of Jo Greetham and Derrick Haughton, three for juniors and one more for the adults.

The success was overwhelming, on the coaching scene, three more coaches to came on board, Kevin Langley, Dave Perry and Phil Wressell, but even more crucial for the groups success has been the amalgamation with other clubs, Scartho Badminton and Grimsby Town, followed later by Cleethorpes Town and still expanding.

The advanced academy at the top of the pyramid, had two aims, (1) to hopefully produce an England player and (2) to produce an abundance of quality adult players, who would promote the sport for many years to come, enabling the pyramid to start over and over again. As already stated the success has been phenomenal, with several players gaining National or University success, with and abundance of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and likewise, an abundance of adult players, with the group now operating five adult clubs.

A few changes happened in the year 2000, with Dave Blanch retiring and most of the day to day secretarial and admin responsibilities being taken over by Derrick Haughton, alongside his other roles The committee was re-shuffled, with Brian Pleasance taking over the chairman's role for a two year stint, followed by Kevin Langley for two years, with this role now in the capable hands of Phil Wressell.

Another change, instigated by Derrick was to change the groups financial strategy, by making all the clubs "pay and play" sessions, with no membership or affiliation fees. This has proved to be a major success for the group and badminton and although no proof or credit, was introduced nationally by Badminton England, ten years later under the guise of "No Strings Badminton"!

Another major success for the group, has been the coach mentoring scheme, where no fewer that ten young coaches have come through the system. Noticeably, John Holland (number 1 in the area), Sue Perry, Peter Dunford, Matthew Atmore (the area's 1st self employed coach), Mike Read, Craig Haughton, Craig Holden, Jennifer Bates, Nathaniel Hallam, Tom Machon and many more, with some of them, now playing and coaching in other areas of the Country, which is a tremendous advert for the group and the team.

The group went through another period of change in 2005 when Kevin Langley and Jo Greetham had to relinquish their positions in the group, both through work committees. Kevin Langley, moving to Nottingham with his family and Jo Greetham taking on more responsibilities with her work at Oasis Academy Wintringham. Just for the record, Kevin Langley is still playing and coaching in Nottingham and his daughter, Alex (who started playing badminton at the group when she was 5 years old), is now ranked in the top five female players in the UK, whilst Jo Greetham is still coaching at Oasis Academy.

One further success, again instated by Derrick Haughton, has been the idea of promoting family sessions, where players of all ages ie, children, parents and grandparents, all turning up together to play, thus ensuring the availability for all sections of the community to play and have fun and keep fit, whilst enjoying the fantastic sport of badminton.

As mentioned at the start, the group now run at least one club session every day and a number of pre and after school sessions, taking the sport into the community.

Why not come and join us and join in the fun!

For further details about the NELBDG and our sessions, please contact;

Derrick Haughton on 07711 309 137 or e-mail; secretary@nelbdg.co.uk




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