The County You Live, Work And Play
Shuttle Stars Taking Off
Shuttle Stars players and coaches (from left) Eilidh Cunningham, Jamie Neill (coach), Eileen Gordon, Keith Turnbull (coach), Jennifer Lafferty, Alex Dunn and Ruth Cunningham
Badminton is taking off in Lanarkshire, and coach Jamie Neill says there are opportunities for players and sponsors alike to get involved.
Jamie’s Shuttle Stars club and the Lanarkshire Badminton Academy are practically bursting at the seams, but they will happily take on more players, and are looking to expand into other areas like Larkhall and Rutherglen.
That provides a pathway for children to move from school to club to regionals and beyond, with several former players currently doing well on the national stage.
Club ambassador Alex Dunn, for example, recently won the Scottish National Under-19 singles and mixed doubles titles at age 17.
Jamie is loving every minute of his coaching role, and says there is an ideal opportunity for somebody to come in as sponsor and get their brand viewed at national, international and European level.
He said: "Alex is a club ambassador for Shuttle Stars and for the Lanarkshire Badminton Academy, who he has trained with before, and his older brother Robert, at 20, takes sessions at the Academy as well. Shuttle Stars has over 100 members and really expanded after Glasgow 2014. We have expanded to an extra session at the Jock Stein Centre and I’m talking to Active Schools co-ordinators in Larkhall and Rutherglen. It would be great to get kids playing in those areas."
"Keith Turnbull heads up the Academy and it’s a good pathway for kids, from schools to regional and national – but there is also scope for them to play socially. There are also coaching opportunities for people who don’t necessarily want to play at the same level as Alex. Five or six of our Academy coaches have come through that route."
Jamie and Keith have moved to Yonex as player-coaches, and they also sponsor Alex Dunn, but Jamie says there is scope for an overall sponsor, which would be beneficial to both parties. He said: "A lot of our players are from the Hamilton area, but we have others from Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, Biggar, Motherwell and across Lanarkshire. Every grassroots sport is looking for sponsorship but this is a good opportunity for somebody to be the main sponsor, with seven or eight sessions a week and with success filtering through to all levels."
Anybody interested in sponsorship should contact Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org and check Facebook for information on Shuttlestars badminton or Lanarkshire Badminton Academy.
If you're interested in Lanarkshire Badminton Academy contact Keith Turnbull at email@example.com