NEWSLETTER OF THE CHESHIRE COUNTY
ISSUE - June 2010
U17 TEAM - RUNNERS UP - HARROD ICT 2010
Team from left to right:
Dan Font, George Li, Matt Riley,Mike Phillips, Greg Mairs, Karl Bergh
Jenny Moore, Jo Minihan, Claire Symeonides, Claire Weaver, Rachel Vickers, Meriel Currie
CCBA Launches New Website
Cheshire County Badminton Association will soon be the proud owners of a shiny new
website. The new site is currently being developed by ITQ Solutions and is based on a
specification combining the needs of all facets of CCBA.
There will be a welcome from Roger Ewing - our Chairman and pages for the Senior Squad,
Veterans and Schools & Youth. In addition there will be News pages and an opportunity to
read articles from the Cheshire Chat on-line,or download the whole document.
There will be contact details for each of the affiliated leagues in the County as well as all of
the Council Members and other key figures. Claire Wright, a Regional Officer of the
Badminton England Development Team will keep the Development Pages up to date,
including the progress of the 2 additional Performance Centres.
It will be possible to download entry forms for all County run tournaments, as well as access
other forms via links to the Badminton England Website. Calendars with dates for all
County training sessions and matches in all age-groups will also be available.
It is hoped that the new site will become a “one stop shop” for the Badminton needs of
everyone within the County, as well as anyone from outside Cheshire who would like to find
out about what we are doing.
One of the key features of the new site, from the point of view of its administration, is the
ability for many people to log on and add content to their area. Training in the use of the
website for key personnel will be taking place during week beginning 17th May and this will
be disseminated to others as soon as possible. Hope-fully, if all goes well, the new site will
be live by the end of May, so do keep an eye on www.cheshirebadminton.org over the ne xt
If anyone has any content that they would like to see included, please email it to Kay
Vickers at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHESHIRE COUNTY BADMINTON ASSOCIATION
TOURNAMENT SECRETARY’S REPORT 2009/2010
The Cheshire Restricted Tournament was played in Groups for the first time, but the entry was much the
same as in previous years. The costing of the Tournament will have to b e looked at to cover the cost of
the increased number of games.
RESULTS OF TOURNAMENTS 2008/09
Cheshire Restricted Winners
Men’s Singles – Matthew Nottingham
Ladies Singles – Hayley Rogers
Men’s Doubles – Matthew Nottingham/Peter Fearns
LadiesDoubles – Emma Luke/Sarah Hutton
Mixed Doubles – Peter Fearns/Sarah Hutton
The Cheshire Orbital tournament was again a resounding success.
Cheshire Orbital WINNERS
Men’s Singles – Tim Vickers (Lancashire)
Ladies Singles – Steffi Clarke (Yorkshire)
Men’s Doubles – Ali Chowdhury/Kieran Baboolal (Lancashire)
Ladies Doubles – Harriet Shillito (Yorkshire)/Gill Dabek (Cheshire)
Mixed Doubles – Matthew Wilkinson/Kim Clague (Isle of Man)
The Cheshire Open was again sponsored by Yehlex. The entry was very good and the tournament
was very successful.
Cheshire Open Winners
Men’s Singles – Matthew Nottingham (Cheshire)
Ladies Singles – HelenLewc zynska (Avon)
Men’s Doubles – Alan Clarkson / Mark Tuttle (Lancashire)
Ladies Double – Holly Smith (Durham/Sophie Brown (Yorkshire)
Mixed Doubles – Mark Tuttle (Lancashire)/Gill Dabek (Cheshire)
In the Inter League tournaments, the Len Knight Trophy was won by Runcorn and Widnes League
and the Baxter Trophy was won by the Chester League.
DATES FOR 2010-11
Cheshire Restricted 25/26 September 2010
Cheshire Orbital 27 November 2010
Cheshire Open 19/20 February 2011
Len Knight Trophy 14 November 2010
Baxter Trophy 16 January 2011
All 3 tournaments to be held at Cheshire County Sports Club
Hon Tournament Secretary
S & Y Chairman’s Report to CCBA AGM, Tuesday 8th June 2010
2009/10 has been hugely successful year for our junior County organization. I won’t go into detail
about individual team performances, as these can be found on the new Cheshire website and in the
team managers reports contained in the Minutes of our own AGM which took place on Tuesday 25th
We have not only consolidated our ever improving reputation nationally, but have significantly raised
the bar this year with even more representation in finals of national team competitions and cemented
our position as true contenders across all the age groups.
So congratulations to all of our players who keep the Cheshire flag flying and represent us so
This season has again seen more than 100 players attending our county squad sessions and I am
pleased to say that attendances are excellent across all age groups.
Our county infrastructure is also growing as we now have in excess of 180 affiliated junior members
across the county. Our first performance centre, W est Cheshire, is now well established since its
accreditation in December 2008 and has nearly 70 players within its squads. This year also sees a
second performance centre application for the east of the county being put together, whilst at the
same time our regional cells at Poynton and Middlewhich are thriving and seeing numbers growing.
It is also increasingly satisfying to see our young Cheshire players taking part in tournaments each
week, across the length and breadth of the country. Their hard work and dedication is reaping real
rewards as we have never had so many players gaining national recognition with many more knocking
on the door.
Our teams have done exceptionally well again, with our U15’s once again taking part in the U15
National Team Challenge Finals, but were unable to retain their title but still achieving a very
creditable placing. Our U17’s have continued to grow in stature by reaching the Finals of the Shires
League for the first time and finishing in a fantastic 3 rd place after pushing the eventual winners very
Our U16’s finished second in the Wimbledon International Team invitation, achieving the highest
placing by a Britis h county and only losing out to a Country….Belgium!
However, we saved our proudest moment for the ICT, where our team, seeded 6 , went on to achieve
a fantastic runners-up placing and in doing so made ICT history as the first Cheshire team to reach
the Finals. This was an incredible experience for everyone involved as we came so close to beating
the eventual winners, Yorkshire, when we had a match point in a nail biting match. It was admitted
nd rd th th
that we were underestimated with our seeding as we beat the 2 , 3 , 4 , and 7 seeds en-route to
a magnificent 2nd place finish. So all- in-all, we are definitely on the up and have now become a well
respected county, not only for our results, but for the way our players represent the county with pride
and conduct themselves on and off the court. So we can all be very proud of them and I know that
the team managers and parents are too.
It is at this point that I would like to thank the many people who have helped and contributed so much
throughout the season. They are not in any particular order and I hope that I haven’t left anybody out:
• Our Committee Members, who do so much work behind the scenes and give up many
countless hours so that things run smoothly. It is a real testimony to their effort and
commitment and we wouldn’t be able to operate without them.
• The Team Managers, who have the stresses of organizing their teams, making countless
phone calls and dealing with the disappointments of last minute changes due to illness and
injury etc. But I am sure that they will agree that it is a very rewarding job and a pleasure to
• Our Coaches who work tirelessly to develop our players and encourage them to reach their
potential. They are;
Kay Vickers & Karl Bergh – U17
Gavin Simpson, Gill Dabek & Ian Cross – U15
Mike Swindles & Richard Bergh – U13
Mike Swindles & Alex Chambers – Development Group
Mike Edge – ICT Squad
• Cheshire County Council for their continued and most generous support with a Sports Grant.
• Meriel Currie, who gives up an awful lot of time to mastermind our ICT campaign and brings
us her considerable guidance and technical know how to this very important event.
• To all those parents who have played their part and assisted the Committee throughout the year
in running events and functions smoothly and professionally.
• To Alan Nottingham, our extremely hardworking Tournament Secretary who, along with a handful
of dedicated volunteers, organises and runs all our County tournaments like clockwork.
I do hope I haven’t forgotten anybody, because we can’t operate without all of our volunteers and
wouldn’t be able to give our children the opportunities that they need to reach their potential and
enjoy this great sport of ours.
Schools & Y outh Committee
CHESHIRE COUNTY BADMINTON ASSOCIATION - VETERANS GROUP
ANNUAL REPORT FOR SEASON 2009/10
The Group, which caters for players aged 40 and over, has again experienced a busy and successful year involving a large
number of players in squad practice sessions and match play for the County. The main points were as follows
The Group had 81 “active” members, spread over five Veterans age groups. The numbers by Group were O40
- 20 (15 Men & 5 Ladies), O45 - 12 (6 & 6), O50 - 17 (8 & 9), O55 - 16 (9 & 7), and O60 - 16 (9 & 7). We
were able to field teams in all five age groups in both the ICC Championship and the Veterans League, and after
a couple of years absence re-entered an O60 team in the 2009/10 league to accommodate those players. Once
again I would ask those reading this to let me know if they are interested, or know someone else who is
interested, in joining us in any age group, but particularly the O55 and O60, and we wish to be aware also of the
current 39 year olds who would like to start a new phase in their badminton experiences.
Three squad sessions were held with encouraging and enthusiastic attendances, and both the early season
September sessions and the post-Christmas gatherings were well attended as usual. There are so many matches
and veterans tournaments to accommodate it is difficult to fit in other sessions, unless our numbers increase
The five groups were entered in the Inter-County Veterans League, and there were a total of 30 matches to play,
but one was conceded, and two cancelled due to a late withdrawal. Our team captains again did a magnificent
job in getting teams together to travel to distant venues such as Oxfordshire and Durham, and we fulfilled our
commitments in all fixtures. There were some excellent matches played, and the O50, O55 and O60 teams
again acquitted themselves well in the very strong Northern Regional Leagues. The O45 team were unbeaten
and won the title in a highly competitive group, beating close rivals Lancashire twice to seal their success, and
were runners-up to a very strong Essex side in the National Final. The O40 team again competed in the
Midlands West Leagues and had a magnificent season, winning all their group matches comprehensively, and
then winning a play off against Nottinghamshire, the Midlands East winners by 8-4. Not content with that
they also went to the National Finals and won a semi-final against Gloucestershire in style, and then won the
title by beating Yorkshire 8-4 in a highly competitive match.
The 5 groups were again entered in the ICC championships in January, but the weather forced rearrangements
and affected team availability. Our O40 team were too strong for their Div 1 opponents and won all five
matches by 4-0. The O45 team are having to wait until late May to defend their national title in the Premier
Division. The other teams all competed in Div 1 groups and held their own with the O50 and O60 teams
finishing in mid-table, whilst the O55 finished 2nd to Glasgow & North Scotland in their group. The new
concept is succeeding in its aim to place teams in Leagues by ability, rather than geographical location, and
certainly levels things off, and although there is extra travelling and overnight stays involved, team members
continue to support the cause in encouraging numbers.
Our members have continued to enter the various Veterans Tournaments around the country and into Europe,
keeping the county well represented, with a number of individual successes. Brenda Andrew, Mark Golds,
Kathy Isherwood and Kay Vickers have all won major titles so particular congratulations are due to each of
them, and also to all those many members who achieved successes in other County events – too many to name
individually (and no ranking tables yet published for the year).
Finally my thanks to all those who supported the Group and Team Events over the year, and particularly those
who visited distant spots in wintry weather. My special thanks again go to the Team Captains, without whom
there would be no team events, and whose time and patience was invaluable in a very demanding year. So
thanks are due to Steve Aylott and Helen Ambrose (O40), Richard and Wendy Eastwood (O45), Sue Orwin and
Sue Marcks (O50), Jean Melia and Peter Preston (O55), and Marion Doe and Geoff Pickard) (O60).
0151 678 4839 May 2010
Cheshire CBA Report
This report summarises the key areas of development work in Cheshire during the previous year and
highlights progress made.
Christleton Junior Badminton Club and Neston Badminton Club have now achieved Premier Club (Clubmark
accreditation) status, which is a great achievement and really highlights the excellent work both clubs are
Millbrook Junior Badminton Club has recently resubmitted its Premier Club file for reaccreditation; the Club
also continues to deliver great opportunities for junior players in the local area.
On the Wirral, Bidston remains accredited with Premer Club status. .Hoylake St Catherines is also registered
as Working Towards Premier Club status.
CBN area updates:
Based upon local authority areas, Community Badminton Networks offer a range of inter-connected
programmes that seek to successfully introduce participants to badminton and then offer them a range of high
quality, sustainable opportunities to enjoy lifelong participation in the sport.
Since taking my post in September last year most of my work has been focused around Warrington CBN and
Tameside CBN. As of April this year I have now started initial work on establishing a new CBN in Chester. My
role within the CBN revolves around partnership working and building relationships with local schools, clubs
and other agencies within the area. Further detail on each specific area is covered in more detail below.
The junior session at Broomfields Leisure Centre on a Monday 5pm – 6pm has been a great success with 20-
25 players turning up on a regular basis. A link has been formed with Appleton Hall BC, offering juniors a
pathway into a senior club. The junior session at Penketh has been slightly less successful, with a regular
attendance of 10-12 players; there are plans to remarket the session are in place for September. A
Warrington Badminton Development Group has been established and two meetings have been held so far.
The group has helped to raise specific issues and bring local coaches, schools and clubs together enabling
them to work together.
Bridgewater High School is now registered as Working Towards becoming a Premier School and Birchwood
High School has chosen to establish a new badminton club as part of the Change 4 Life Sports Clubs
programme (see below). The primary schools will also have the chance to attend a “Bisi week” in February
next year. A number of festivals will be held to encourage all primary schools in the area to participate in
badminton activity and deliver badminton within their school.
Tameside Junior Badminton Club now has four junior satellite sessions running. It entered teams in both age
groups of the Greater Manchester Junior League. A Tameside Development Group has been established and
St Thomas Moore High School has registered as Working Towards Premier School status. Alder High School,
Tameside College and Ashton Sixth Form College have all selected badminton as their Change 4 Life clubs,
starting in September. Tameside Sports Development team also put on a Primary Badminton Festival, which
saw 20 teams from ten different schools competing in a doubles tournament. This will hopefully become an
annual event in the competition calendar.
Chester is the latest area in which work has started to develop a CBN. Initial meetings have been held with
partnership development managers, local authority and clubs. All are keen to work with Badminton England
towards improving badminton opportunities across the area. A Back to Badminton session is due to start in
September at County Offices Club, aiming to get people back into playing badminton or even attract new
players. Building links with the local clubs with clear pathways for players who wish to progress into a club
environment. Negotiations on developing a No Strings Badminton franchise as a further exit route from this
programme are well advanced.
A coach audit has been carried out in all CBN areas, helping to identify the needs of each individual area. As a
result a Level 1 coaching award is being held at Penketh High School (see below for dates)
Warrington – Penketh HS 05/09/10, 19/09/10, 26/09/10
Working with Tom Howarth the Club Development Offices for Warrington we have designed a Coach
Mentoring Programme that is set to be run as a pilot in Warrington. Two Level 2 coaches have been identified
as mentors, they will attend a mentoring course and will then be assigned 2-3 level 1 coaches to work with and
support. We hope this type of programme will see more Level 1 coaches progressing onto become level two
coaches, thus helping solve our shortage of Level 2 coaches.
No Strings Badminton continues to grow throughout the county helping offer a new type of badminton
experience.Various leisure centres across Cheshire that might be interested in buying into the project have
been identified and negotiations are ongoing.
Broomfields Leisure Centre has brought a franchise, with the date/time of the sessions to be confirmed.
County offices are also looking to start running the programme in January in partnership with the local
No Strings membership is free; players just need to go to the website and register to become a member:
Part of my remit is 16-19 drop off. As part of this I establishing a North West Youth Forum, to give the young
people a voice and help shape the work we are doing. So far 11 candidates have expressed an interest in
being a part of the project; the closing date will remain open until mid August when the final group will be
selected. It is encouraging from a Cheshire perspective that 8 of the applications have been from young
people in the County.
Change 4 Life Sports Clubs:
Christleton High School Sept 10
Six million pounds of Government and Lottery
Bishop Heber High School Sept10 money is being invested to create a network of new
Birchwood HS Sept 10
after school clubs in secondary schools and colleges
across England. The clubs will give young people of
Neston High School Sept 10 all abilities the opportunity to play a range of Olympic
and Paralympic sports - badminton, boccia, fencing,
Sir William Stanier High School Oct 10
handball, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair
Rudheath High Oct 10 basketball. The £6 million will pay for new equipment
and qualified coaches to run the clubs alongside
West Cheshire College Oct 10
Alder High School Sept 10
The clubs are part of the Governments drive to
Tameside College Sept 10` deliver a lasting sporting legacy ahead of hosting the
2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Schools will
Ashton Sixth Form College Sept 10 develop the clubs in partnership with each sports
Upton Hall School Oct 10 National Governing Bodies, Sport England and the
Youth Sport Trust.
The schools listed to the left are the schools within
Prenton High School for Girls Oct 10 Cheshire that have selected badminton as their new
Birkenhead 6th Form College Oct 10
Center Parcs National Schools Championships.
The aim of the Center Parcs National Schools Championships is to create a ‘best in class’ tournament that
provides a high-level competitive badminton opportunity for schools across England. Last year’s competition
saw a record entry of over 1,000 schools and 15,000 children; the 2009/10 tournament has smashed that
record with the number of schools entering topping 1,400 and over 19,000 children taking part.
The Cheshire round of the Championships saw 36 teams, from 16 different schools competing across the two
age groups last week. Sandbach Girls School and Rudheath High School kindly hosted the two events which
provided an excellent opportunity for pupils to play competitive badminton against opposition from schools
across the county.
The under14 competition was hosted by Sandbach on the 27th January. The boy’s final saw Weaverham play
Congleton with Congleton taking the title after winning the last doubles game 15 points to 5. The under 14
girls’ finalists were Wilmslow and Brine Leas, similarly to the boys the last doubles game was to decide the
winner. Unfortunately one of the Wilmslow players suffered an injury meaning they had to forfeit the game,
making Brine Leas the winners.
The U16’s competition was held at Rudheath on the 28 January. The Boys final saw Weaverham face
Middlewich with Weaverham producing a convincing win 4 games to 1. The girls’ finalists were Queens and
Congleton; both teams had strong players; however, a determined performance from the Queens team
provided them with a 4:1 victory over their opponents, making them U16 girls’ champions.
Regional Round results:
The Regional final was played at Leigh Sports Village on the 1 March. Each of the five County areas were
represented in each competition. In the Under 14’s competition The Queens School finished in second place
and Weaverham finished in fifth. In the Under 16’s competition Brine Leas finished in fifth place as did
Congleton High School. Overall the standard of competition was extremely high. The Under 16 Altrincham
Grammer School for Girls, who were representing Greater Manchester went onto the National final and
finished 3 , which is a great achievement.
The West Cheshire Performance Centre is now well established, with 69 players across the three squads.
The Centre’s work to engage parents in is operation has been excellent and a model of good practice. It is
expected that Futures Badminton Academy will be submitting a bid for Performance Centre status in
email@example.com, 07901005314, www.badmintonengland.co.uk
HARROD ICT 8th-11th April 2010
In recognition of the Cheshire team’s exceptional performance this year, Cheshire Chat -
brings you a blow-by-blow account of the event from the team managers, Meriel Currie and
Day 1 Thursday 8 April
8.15 am. Knutsford Services. ICT day finally arrives. After weeks of training, including psychological training,
advice on healthy eating, a bowling evening and suggestions that the players bring motivational music, we felt
fully prepared and set off on the country roads (M6 blocked by accident). After 15 minutes, Claire S was
feeling bus sick. Rachel waited until 9.00am before distributing the chocolate eggs. By 10.30am we were
nearing Nottingham and Karl suggested it was time for the motivational music. Umm….. I’m not sure that
I’m a Barbie Girl was quite what he had in mind.
As we are about to pull into the car-park at Derby Hall, Jo says “Can you stop please Karl, Claire’s been sick”.
50 yards short of our destination!
1 Match v Northants at Chilwell
As we were seeded 6 , we played the lowest seeded team in the group first. I wished the Northants. manager
good luck and he replied “We’’ll need it”. They did need it. All our new-to-ICT players got good wins and we
played various combinations in our 10-0 win (points Cheshire 300, Northants 102).
2nd Match v Northumberland at Chilwell
This match was slightly tougher as the opposition got 130 points over the 20 games. Again we changed our
partnerships to give everyone a practice and to confuse future opposition who may scrutinize the results.
Back to Derby Hall for dinner. Most chose Chicken Kiev. Mike finds butter and herbs in his: “What’s this?
There’s something inside my chicken!” Must be a Kiev, Mike.
Matt then instructed Mike on use of cutlery; we wonder if perhaps he is taking his captain’s duties too
3 Match v Avon at University
Potentially a tougher team, we decide to put out a stronger team and the Avon manager takes one look at the
sheet and says “Thanks for that!” We win 10-0 but did drop a game. Everyone is playing well though Dan later
admits he was only in 1st gear.
Jan chats with Malcolm Smith (the referee of the event) after the match and says “well it’s only Friday”. He
looks alarmed at the disappearing days and then grins as she realises she still has 3 days to go. We qualified
for the second round in 1 place.
After the match and showers, everyone comes to the study area in the managers room, which they dub ‘The
Chill Room’. The players listen to music on Karl’s ipod and we discover that George likes the Beach Boys
Round, round, get around, I get around
Supporters on the first day were: Kay Vickers, Matt Vickers, Walter Weaver, Helen Weaver, Richard Bergh,
Shuguang Li, Tom Phillips, Caroline Phillips, Andrew Phillips
Day 2 Friday 9 April ( or Saturday on Jan’s calendar)
Meriel hears knocking as Matt continues his captain’s duties by trying to rouse the boys for breakfast.
“Aaarrrggghhhh”. “Get up George”.
If day 1 was fairly easy, day 2 promised to be a huge step up as we were in the ‘group of death’ containing the
rd th th
3 , 6 and 7 seeds + 2 others seeded 11-20. Tough day ahead with 4 matches.
The minibus to Chilwell provides an ideal opportunity for the next motivational song chosen by the players. On
comes Surfin USA .
4th Match v Leinster at Chilwell
We started well with 2 mixed wins with what was becoming our regular pairs of Dan & Rachel, Greg & Jo.
George narrowly lost the top boys singles to a strong Irish boy in a very competitive match but we survived
other 3 setters to run out winners 8-2.
5 Match v Ulster at Chilwell
This was potentially a difficult match as Ulster were 7th seeds and had some strong players. We lost both
mixed but our girls got us back on track by winning the singles (Claire W and Jenny) and doubles (Claire W &
Jenny, Rachel & Claire S). Dan just lost a tremendous battle with Sim but George won his singles and Greg &
George their doubles to give us the victory.
Between matches, there was time for a quick visit to Subway.
George put our victories down to Subway and KFC.
Jan finds the only free seat at Chilwell
6 Match v Devon at Chilwell
Earlier Devon had given Hampshire a shock by taking 5 games off them in a losing draw, so we played the
team in the same way as Ulster and won 9-1. Everyone playing well and looking forward to the decisive match
v Hampshire in the evening.
After dinner, we had time to relax before the
match. The girls did a dance routine outside
(they thought no-one was watching) The boys
came to the Chill Room to discuss tactics.
Meriel and Karl had still not finally decided the
team. Jan was concerned about rounding up the
shirts as Janice had kindly volunteered to
provide an overnight washing service so we
would have clean shirts for the next day.
Eventually we are mustering on the stairs ready
to go. The boys are quizzing Meriel about the
team “Who is playing the second singles?” Jan,
still pre-occupied with the washing, interprets
Greg’s question as “Can you put rackets in the
Five minutes before the submission time for the team sheet, we finally decide on the team format. So, Meriel
asks Greg to play the critical 2 boys singles and tries to reassure him about it and not worry. “It’s alright” he
says “It’s only a game of badminton”.
7 Match v Hampshire at University
Having already secured our place in the top 8, we are now trying to beat Hampshire to get into the top group
for positions 1-4. Ever since we saw the draw, we knew that this would be our critical match and it had looked
at various times: unwinnable, winnable if they played it wrong, unwinnable if it was 5-5, winnable if we were
superb etc etc. We felt that the mixed were crucial so we played strong mixed (George & Claire W, Dan &
Rachel). Dan & Rachel, who were playing really well together by this stage, won easily but George and Claire
just lost in 3 to Cappleman and Latimer. Meanwhile, Jenny had gone on against her England colleague and
had raced into an 8-1 lead whilst everyone watched the tense mixed. Jenny duly won the first game 15-2 but
her opponent pulled herself together and came back to win the match. Claire W then gave a brilliant gutsy
performance to win at top girls pulling back when down in the 3 game to take the match. Dan lost to
Cappleman but Greg easily beat the number 2 boy (it was only a game of badminton!). We lost both girls
doubles but George and Greg won the top boys doubles. We were 5-4 down going into the 2 boys doubles.
Who would win if it was draw?
Doing arithmetic under such tense circumstances whilst trying to watch matches and cheer on the players
proves nearly impossible for team managers. For the 4 time in10 minutes, Jan picks up the sheet, does some
calculations and works out that we have more games than Hampshire already. Meriel “That can’t be right” so
Jan calculated again and got a different answer. Karl tried and got a different answer. Eventually, all 3 agreed
that if we won the final game then we would get a winning draw. Jan re-checked 5 minutes later, just to be
sure. Mike and Matt won the first game closely. Then everyone crowded round the court or hung over the
balcony to watch the next game. Jan and Meriel hardly dared to look as we got to match point. An easy kill
comes over to Matt; Mike shouts “leave it” and obediently, Matt stops, then watches the shuttle fall………on to
the line. Fortunately for our nerves, we took the next match point and the team went wild. Meriel thankfully
found that the desk had the same calculation as us and we had won on games 12-11 in a 5-5 draw.
Parents came down and we celebrated as though we had won the tournament. It was the first time ever (in 40
years) that Cheshire had been in positions 1-4. Finally, the players went back for a shower whilst the team
managers and parents packed up. Suddenly Karl realises that Jan has given the players the door keys back.
“You haven’t given them ours have you?”- “I’m not that stupid”.
11.00pm Chill room:
Talk of Wagner (from Matt) and George says “I think someone came into my room in the middle of the night
and closed the curtains!”
Supporters for the day: Colette Dabek, John Dabek, Irene Nottingham, Matt Nottingham, Brenda Hickson,
Lucy Currie, Shuguang Li, Annie Minihan, Janice Mairs, Mike Swindles, Mike Edge, Tom Phillips, Caroline
Phillips, Andrew Phillips, Walter Weaver, Helen Weaver, Sandra Font, John Font, Kay Vickers, Rachel’s Gran,
Day 3 Saturday 10 April
Despite our jubilation last evening, we have to pick ourselves up again and get ready for matches in the top
group (doesn’t that sound good?)
8 Match v Bucks at University
We started with two good wins in the mixed, lost top girls and then Jenny at 2 singles, raced away into a
good lead and won the first game. She lost a closely fought 2 game which built the tension nicely for the 3
game. It fact, too much tension - so we decided we needed the referee to keep an eye on proceedings which
were going very slowly. Jenny kept her cool and eventually got a well-deserved 18-16 win in the 3 game. A
crucial win for us. We won the two boys singles to go 5-1 up but then lost the girls doubles. It was left to our
top boys doubles of George and Greg to seal the victory. Mike and Matt nearly won their 2 boys but were
distracted at the end by overwhelming noise coming from the Herts v Yorks game on the next courts. Herts led
5-4 and had match points in the boys doubles but lost the game and then the tie on count back.
Next up, number 1 seeds Yorkshire.
Match 9 v Yorks at University
Dan & Rachel duly won the top mixed followed by Greg and Claire W in a much tighter match. Jenny and
Claire S lost the singles but Dan and George won to give us a 4-2 lead. We lost the first girls doubles but
Claire W and Jo fought a hard battle in the 2 girls to get to match point in the 3 game. At which point, one of
their opponents noticed a broken string, she picked up another racket and to the amazement of our girls and
the managers, she went round the net to our side to rally with her partner with the new racket. Eric Brown, who
had been keeping watch on the tie, jumped up and sent her back to her side of the net to hit a few shots with
Jo. However, the damage was done and we couldn’t convert that or the next match point and we lost 18-16.
The noise from the Yorkshire team and supporters was immense. Despite winning the first game, Mike and
Matt lost in 3 but we still had a chance of a winning draw if we could get the top boys doubles. George and
Greg won the first game but Yorkshire really fought back hard to win the match and the tie.
So near and so many “what might have been” moments but Yorkshire showed a lot of fighting spirit against us
and Herts. We found the noise, the tension and the atmosphere in the 1-4 group very nerve-wracking.
However, we learnt from the experience and know what to expect in future. The future starts tomorrow, when
we are playing Herts with all positions in the group yet to be decided. Yorks have 2 wins, Bucks and Cheshire
1 win, Herts 0 wins.
So on to the disco evening which passed off fairly quietly. Cheshire was congratulated at the team managers
meeting for getting into the top group for the first time ever.
On our way back from the disco, George met the girls. “Have you ordered a pizza?” he asked.
“Have you ordered me one?” “No”.
Some time later, the girls and team managers return from picking up the pizzas. Round, round get around,
I get around comes from the kitchen. I wonder who is making a Chip Shop Curry pot noodle?
Then all into the Chill room for pizza, pot noodle, chocolate and tea (Mike Edge – I think we might need that
healthy eating talk again, we haven’t quite got the hang of it). Matt puts on Karl’s depressing music (George’s
view). Matt tries to convert the team to Wagner: “have you met him?” asks Jenny. Undeterred, Matt tries to
educate the team as Barbara Ann plays in the background. “Did you know that technically Henry VIII only
had two wives?”
Gradually people begin to yawn. Matt tries again “Did you know that psychopaths rarely yawn because they
don’t integrate into the social structure?” George: “I’ve never seen you yawn Matt”.
We troop off to bed to the strains of Sloop John B .
Supporters for the day: Rob Moore, Steve Vickers, Shuguang Li, Min Li, Wayne Li & friend, Walter Weaver,
Helen Weaver, Janice Mairs, Dave Mairs, Peter Mairs, Wendy Symeonide, Xenakis Symeonides, Tom
Phillips, Caroline Phillips, Andrew Phillips, Sandra Font, John Font, Annie Minihan, Tim Riley, Maria Riley,
Louise Riley, Matt Tolman
Day 4 Sunday 11 April
We let off the players from compulsory breakfast but we return to the hall to find Claire S, Rachel and Jo,
sitting doubled-over in the corridor, groaning. These three had shared a barbecued chicken pizza last night. As
they are feeling sick, we are grateful that our final match isn’t until 2.00pm by which time they have been
dosed up with Gaviscon. They had time to perk up, the managers planned the final team and Meriel learnt a
few lessons from Yorkshire about the final sessions. Finals Day is a big set-piece occasion with a PA system
to introduce the matches and everyone parading on to court.
We decide to try to hold the players back as late as we can so they won’t get too keyed up too soon. Karl tries
to explain this concept to Rachel “You know how they train racing pigeons?” Rachel “I’ve never trained a
racing pigeon” “well, just listen………..” Rachel “Oh….I know, are they the ones which they have at
The team, alert and ready for the final match……………Meriel is worried that the team might be too keyed up
10 Match v Herts
Never having been in the finals day before, we didn’t realise that these are played in a different order to the
rest of the tournament. So, first up, girls doubles. Claire W and Jenny won well but Rachel and Jo looked very
nervous (Rachel couldn’t hold her drink bottle still after the first game) and they lost in 3 despite a good
struggle. 1 match all. Then the boys doubles went a similar way with George and Greg winning but Mike and
Matt losing in 3. 2-2 in matches but we were up on
games. Girls singles, Jenny worked hard but lost to
Emily Westwood, whilst Claire S won the first game
and gave us hope of another win but just ran out of
steam in the third game. 4-2 down. Then Dan and
George won their boys singles well. 4-4 going into the
mixed and we were still ahead on games.
So when Greg and Claire won the 2nd mixed in 2, we
knew we couldn’t lose. Dan and Rachel then
completed our victory in some style in the top mixed
and won brilliantly.
We celebrated our medals and runners-up trophy for some time with our supporters who were:
Walter Weaver, Helen Weaver, Annie Minihan, Alan Minihan, Sandra Font, John Font, Diane Moore, Wendy
Symeonides, Xenakis Symeonides, Janice Mairs, Dave Mairs, Peter Mairs, Tim Riley, Maria Riley, Tom
Phillips, Caroline Phillips, Andrew Phillips, Tom Wolfenden, Robbie McDonald, Ian Palethorpe,
We are the runners-up was sung on the minibus on the way home and as we stopped for the traditional
McDonalds, the boys noticed that Karl and Meriel were still wearing their medals.
Unlike many of the teams we had no major injury problems – just a few niggles and a dodgy pizza.
All the players played in every match which is a testament to our strength in depth and our training which
means that we can be very flexible about partnerships and how we play the team.
Big congratulations to the team;
Dan Font Claire Weaver
George Li Jenny Moore
Mike Phillips Rachel Vickers
Greg Mairs Claire Symeonides
Matt Riley Jo Minihan
Managers: Meriel Currie and Karl Bergh
And congratulations to the winners of the Players’ Player awards: Matt and Claudia
Special thanks to:
• All our reserves for their commitment and enthusiasm
• Mike Edge for his skill, enthusiasm and support during training
• Kay for running extra training sessions and for playing matches when necessary
• Walter for his advice and photos
• Janice for advice and washing the shirts
• Other parents who gave advice
• West Wallasey Van Hire for the minibus
• The parents for their support throughout the campaign
• All our supporters before and during the event.
• Our captains, Rachel and Matt
• And an especially big thank you to our ‘gopher’ who in reality is so much more – admin assistant,
results scribe, tea-maker, nurse, laundry-maid, bowling organiser, vote counter, supporter, looking
after the players and the managers, and generally helping to make everything run smoothly so that the
team and managers can concentrate on the play. Thanks – Jan.
U16 Wimbledon Invitation Event
Cheshire U16s were invited back to play in the Wimbledon Team event on the 1st and 2nd
May. The top counties in the country are invited to the event plus teams from outside the
UK. In addition to Cheshire, teams from Denmark, Belgium, Hertfordshire, Lancashire,
Staffs, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Buckinghamshire, Yorkshire and Devon took part.
Jenny Moore Greg Mairs
Claire Symeonides Mike Roe
Claire Weaver Nathan Walker
We played Sussex and the Danish team in the first round and beat them 5-1 and 4-3
respectively. We then had to play Yorkshire, Devon and the Belgian national team for 1st to
4th places. The team secured a comfortable 5-1 win against Yorkshire, then went on to beat
Devon 5-1 and then lost to Belgium 1-5 finishing 2nd overall.
Similar to last year the players had a great time and enjoyed playing the international
players in particular.
U17 Shires League Finals
The U17s won all of their matches to finish as winners of Shires league group A. The results
of each match are shown below.
Match Score Won/ Lost/
Lancashire 2 15-5 W
Northumberland 18-2 W
Yorkshire 2 12-8 W
Lincolnshire 18-2 W
Yorkshire 1 12-8 W
Cumbria 18-2 W
Lancashire 1 13-7 W
Consequently the team were invited to the Shires final for the fifth consecutive year. At the
finals we were drawn against Nottinghamshire first and the Cheshire team beat them 12-8
to secure a place in the top four. We then played Buckinghamshire and were beaten 8-12
by a better team on the day. In the final match we played Warwickshire for third spot and
beat them comfortably 13-7. Bucks went on to beat Yorkshire 1 12-8 to finish in top spot.