In 2019 we mark fifty years since Lincoln Badminton Club was founded in 1969.
Club Captain John Morrish shares his memories of the Club’s early days through to 2019.
Our first AGM was held in 1970 with a minute stating that Wednesday night will remain as club night as in the previous season.
Another minute noted the club would charge a subscription rather than players paying each night. The annual sub was set at $5, which could be reduced to $4 if paid within 4 weeks of joining. A junior sub was set at $1.50 which could be reduced to $1.00.
We had $57.87 in the account at the end of the season.
In 1972, the club was named Lincoln Districts Badminton Club. This was done to remove any confusion with the Lincoln University Club. Two racquets were purchased to be hired out at $0.40 cents per night for players who didn’t own a racquet of their own. After three weeks, the player were expected to purchase their own.
Lincoln’s first interclub team was entered in E grade in the Christchurch city competition.
In the 1970’s, Canterbury Badminton Association was huge, with grades from A through to F, and 8 players per team.
Four nights a week, Interclub competition completely filled Badminton Hall on Pages Road, which had six courts at this time. Cowles Stadium was used for extra court space on a Thursday night and Pioneer Stadium on a Tuesday night.
The A grade competition was played on a Saturday. I was in that first team.
In 1973- 74, I was elected as a very young president of Lincoln Districts Badminton Club. To keep players hydrated, Coke and Fanta were sold at club nights for $0.07 cents a bottle!
In 1974 the club entered two Interclub teams; a D and an F grade. This was also the year Christchurch hosted the Commonwealth Games. Lincoln Districts Badminton Club donated $10.00 to Canterbury Badminton Association to help fund the badminton competition.
Fast forward to 1982 and Carol Thomas is now the Club secretary. Subs are now $15.00 and the first club trip to Kaikoura was planned.
I have to attribute our hugely successful junior club to Carol and Bryan Thomas. With their little boys Adam (11 years) and Peter (aged 8), they created the first structured junior programme, and this has continued ever since. The Thomas family have had an enormous influence on this club and the only family to boast three generations of players representing the club.
In 1984 a trip to Kokatahi on the West Coast was organised in response to an invitation from Chery Hunter of the Kokatahi Club. Trips to Kokatahi continued every year after this, well into the 1990’s.
My recollection is that I was elected as club captain in 1984 – 1985, but I don’t have any minutes to confirm this. I have been club captain ever since.
Approaching 2020, Club finances are in an extremely good state. This all started in 1989 when I organised for the club to pick ten acres of squash for a neighbour of mine. What was supposed to be a weekend job, took another two nights during the week to complete. I seem to recall a cheque for over $1000 being paid. This was a lot of money and the time and provided the strong foundation for ongoing financial stability.
Due to our hugely popular junior programme, we have also been very successful with funding applications over the years. These have helped us be in the great financial position we are in today and ensure Club subscription costs remain low.
During the 1980’s, Lincoln had teams in A grade, A reserve, B, C, D, E and President 3 grades. An article in the Ellesmere Guardian (now the Selwyn Times) highlighted the Club’s success.
1990’s – 2000’s
I always dreamed of Lincoln Badminton becoming one of Canterbury’s biggest clubs and we have certainly achieved this. In 1983 there were 24 badminton clubs affiliated to Canterbury Badminton Association. Sadly, 17 of these clubs are now gone. Back then, we were a tiny club out in the country.
In 2019, we are now easily the largest club in Canterbury, with 133 registered players – nearly twice the size of the second largest club which has 77 members.
During the 2000’s, the Club committee made the decision to drop “Districts” from the name, and be simply “Lincoln Badminton Club”. This was done as part of becoming a registered charity and an incorporated society for funding purposes.
We have seen two national champions come through our club, with one going on to play for NZ. Joe Wu who went on to be the number one ranked player in New Zealand started his playing career at Lincoln. Playing mixed doubles with fellow Lincoln club member Leesa Morrish, they won national titles in the U14/U16 Mixed Doubles.
We have always had many juniors and seniors representing Canterbury. At one stage half of all the representative players in Canterbury squads came from Lincoln.
The 2019 season saw players from Lincoln Badminton Club head over to the coast for a second trip to Franz Josef club. The first being in 2017. Thanks to members of the Franz Josef Club, I was extremely privileged to play a spectacular game of badminton in a crevasse on Franz Josef glacier with Adam Thomas.
I look back with huge pride into what this club has achieved over 50 years and feel privileged to have been part of this success.
Thank you to all the dedicated coaches who have given up so much. In particular Peter, Adam and their parents Carol and Bryan who have played such a significant role.
Lincoln Badminton Club. 1969 – 2019, still going strong…