1. Annual matches v the RAF Ladies and RAF Men
On Friday 21st February we welcomed teams from the RAF to the Club for our annual matches, which usually take place a week or two before the Inter-Services Competition.
The RAF Badminton Association was established in August 1948 and I believe the first Ladies match against Wimbledon took place the following year. The Men’s match was started 11 years ago as part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Ladies fixture. At the same time several former Wimbledon and RAF players attended to renew acquaintance with old friends and team mates, both of these proving to be so popular that they have continued ever since. This year both of the Wimbledon teams won their matches (the Ladies won 6-3, the Men won 5-4), following which 39 people sat down to a delicious 2-course lunch.
2. Visit to the All England Badminton Championships
The 2020 Yonex All England Badminton Championships took place at Arena Birmingham from 11th to 15th March inclusive, in spite of fears that the event might be cancelled because of the threat of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Once again I booked tickets for Friday to Sunday for 87 Club members, their friends and family including tickets purchased by Mani Frempong for 22 members of his other club in Clapham. I also booked a number of rooms at a nearby hotel. Sadly, a few of those in our group were unable to attend for a variety of reasons, some of them concerned about contact with the coronavirus. Those who attended watched some wonderfully exciting badminton during the course of the weekend, were very thankful that the tournament took place, and that spectators were permitted to attend. Subsequent events have been cancelled or will be held behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.