UoN Badminton head coach Martyn Lewis tells Impact Sport about the fastest racquet sport in the world that’s hitting Nottingham…
What exactly is the National Badminton League?
The NBL is a brand new, game-changing and exciting opportunity for badminton. It’s the first ever national badminton league which has been created by Badminton England that will see six franchise teams competing for the title. We are very pleased and excited to be hosting University of Nottingham Badminton alongside Surrey Smashers, Team Derby, Loughborough Sport, Milton Keynes (MK) Badminton and Birmingham Lions who, apart from MK Badminton, are hosted by their respective universities. The teams will compete against each other once in the league with home and away fixtures. At the end of the year, the league’s top four will then compete in a Finals Day to see who will be crowned the first ever NBL Champion.
“We do have one UoN student, Ellen Mahenthiralingam, in the squad and if we are able to recruit players of a level high enough to compete in the NBL – they will be picked!”
What opportunities are there for UoN students to watch matches live and potentially play at uni?
We have players signed up to represent UoN Badminton from each of the four home countries as well as strong players from Europe (some of whom are ranked very high on the sport’s world stage), giving the University a great deal of exposure. Local boy Chris Adcock (current world number 5 and recent Commonwealth gold medalist) is among the names UoN Badminton has on show, alongside current world number 13 Robert Blair from Scotland. In terms of watching the matches, UoN will have their home fixtures held at the Albert Hall Conference Centre on North Circus Street near Lenton. They will also be shown live on Sky Sports 3 and many online channels on Monday evenings. Fixtures are scheduled for January 26th at home to Loughborough Sport, March 23rd at home to Surrey Smashers and April 27th away at Team Derby. We do have one UoN student, Ellen Mahenthiralingam, in the squad and if we are able to recruit players of a level high enough to compete in the NBL – they will be picked!
“There is an exclusive ticket deal for students, who can buy two tickets for just £10”
What are the costs involved in going to watch the professionals in Nottingham?
There is an exclusive ticket deal for students, who can buy two tickets for just £10 from the Students’ Union Box Office or the University Park Sports Centre Reception. Otherwise, tickets are sold online at £10 for students, £12 for adults, £6 for children and £30 for a family package (2 adults, 2 children). Discount codes are also available for badminton clubs in Nottingham. The venue has a bar and a refreshment station at good value for money, and it is very close to the city centre and student area so travel costs are minimal.
Who would you pick as the ones to watch on the UoN team?
Chris Adcock, Robert Blair, Chloe Magee and Olga Konon. Chloe is Ireland’s number 1 and top 30 in the world in mixed doubles and singles, Olga is a former world top 40 player from Germany. Robert is also a Commonwealth bronze medalist from Glasgow 2014.
Why do you think students should play or watch badminton?
It is the fastest racquet sport and watching it played by the best in the world is a sight to behold. It is a sport which you can get a lot of success with very quickly and, when playing those of a similar level to yours, it can be one of the best workouts you do. It is accessible all year round and is one of the highest participated sports in the country. There must be a reason for that – so why not give it a try?
For further information email IMS Badminton Officer Pascal Wye at email@example.com.
Images courtesy of Calvin Coull Photography