A Shropshire businessman is proving to be a real feather in the cap for his local badminton club after agreeing to provide new shuttlecocks by way of sponsorship.
Craig Marston, of Ke-design architectural services, served up the treat for Oswestry Badminton Club after their decision to move away from playing with plastic shuttles and using the more expensive feathered shuttles instead.
The decision was taken to come into line with the majority of rival teams the club competes with in league matches – eliminating the difficulties of switching between playing with plastic and feathered shuttles.
Mr Marston said: “I’m a keen player and been involved with Oswestry Badminton Club most of my life. I was delighted to step in and sponsor the club with £500 for the feathered shuttles in a bid to compete with rival clubs and attract more good club and team players.
“I started playing badminton at the age of nine with my mother before joining a junior club and receiving coaching. By the age of 13 I was playing four to five times a week and regularly for Shropshire County, winning U14 & U16 men’s doubles before representing Shropshire at the Inter counties All England.
“Back then a few of the juniors joined Oswestry Victorias, which later merged with Oswesty Oswalds. I regularly played for Oswestry before leaving for university where I played for the University of Huddersfield. I continued playing when I relocated to Hong Kong, where I got some fantastic experience and played with feathers, so was able to get used to them.
“Oswestry have played with plastic shuttles and it makes it difficult when up against teams who play with feathers because you’re just not familiar with them.
“Oswestry has always been a strong, competitive, club in the county league and more recently most of the clubs in that league have switched to feathers – so it’s time Oswestry followed suit. It does make a difference to the game and we hope it will attract more team and club players to Oswestry who enjoy playing with feathers.
“Unfortunately, there is a significant cost increase in using feathers over plastic shuttles and they don’t last as long.”
Oswestry’s membership fees have always been competitive and Mr Marston felt a big hike in fees to cover the increased cost of feathered shuttles may have been too much for some members, so Ke-design offered to contribute by sponsoring the new shuttles for the season.
Oswestry has two men’s, two ladies and a mixed team in the county league, play at Oswestry Leisure Centre each Monday between 8-10pm and is looking to strengthen its club night.
“We are always looking for good players to come and join our friendly club,” added Mr Marston. “Badminton is a popular social sport, but played at a competitive level. It’s fantastic to watch, quick to play and really good exercise.”
For more information about joining the club contact the club secretary email@example.com