On Sunday 21st July, ESJBA celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a summer BBQ. Among the guests were former and current committee members, a former U17 squad player and England International, Heather Olver.  The Association started in 2003 and has seen 20 Committee members in that time, 13 coaches,  6 Parent/ rep/Committee, 1 match secretary, 1 Publicity Officer’, 2 Treasurers, 3 Chairmen,  2 Vice Chairmen and 3 Secretary’s (position still vacant) offers anyone?

This was a joint celebration as Bruce Peapel, founding member had recently announced his retirement from the Committee.  Bruce had served on the committee for three seasons as Chairman and continued either as Squad Coach or support coach. Bruce’s prodigies had included local girl,  Heather Olver, and had coached her from the early age of seven.  Through her years of climbing the ladder to her current status, Heather has always kept in close touch with her mentor, Bruce.  William Brown, Chairman and only other founding member, on behalf of the Committee, read from an extract of  one of Bruce’s early hand written ‘Chairman’s reports and presented him with a voucher for ballet tickets, another of Bruce’s passions. Bruce continues to coach at local primary schools and provides many of our very young players.

The 11th East Sussex Junior Restricted Badminton Championships

Sunday 8th saw the 11th Annual East Sussex Junior Championships.  For the second year the event was held at the 6-court University of Brighton Sports Centre, Falmer.  This event is aimed at those players who are not selected for the County teams.  Once more the tournament ran to a very tight schedule and managed to complete 15 minutes ahead of schedule.  We had a total of 58 entrants from across East Sussex. 33/25 boys/girls.  A total of 169 games were played over 7 hours.

Presentations were made by William Brown, Chairman of East Sussex Badminton.  This was also the fourth year of presenting the Kevin Marquiss Award.  This went to Jessica Newberry (St Leonards-on-Sea) one of our U17 players who also represents Sussex in the U17 Squad. This award was in honour of Kevin Marquiss, one of the Association’s founders who sadly passed away seven years ago with cancer.  This award is made from all the squad coaches combining their players and based upon attendance, attitude, ability and personality.

This year we also presented two signed shirts by England No 1 Men’s Singles player, Rajiv Ouseph.  These went to Beth Montgomery (Heathfield) and Teddy Rennie (Lewes), both voted as most outstanding, well behaved player of the morning and afternoon sessions respectively.  The morning session was for the U11 & U13 age groups plus an U17 Mixed doubles group with no less than 12 players from Reodean School, who managed to walk away with six medals.  In the afternoon it was the turn of the U15 and U17 age groups.  The results were that 14 out of 48 of the trophies were taken by players from the ESJBA squads and at least four in each age group.  Once more there was a much bigger entry in the older age groups this year, and competition was strong in all the events.