July 2015 - Hummersknott Badminton Club Tour

Sunday 12th Jul 2015

Hummersknott Badminton Club organised its 2015 International Tour in July to Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic – making it 22 countries played in over recent seasons.  The Club has grown over the years also to link closely with other local groups.     Lots of badminton was played on tour and a highlight became the visit to meet the UK Ambassador, Mrs. Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, in the Embassy in Vienna where the players took afternoon tea.   It has been a priority to travel as ambassadors for Darlington and the UK.   Plans are in progress for a further tour in 2016 to Malta, Spain, Gibraltar and Portugal.

In Pressbaum, Vienna, the group were privileged to have with them an International player from New Zealand, Richard Purser (Badminton legend from NZL and several times World Masters Champion), who emailed a couple of days after we moved on as follows:

“…what a great time I had with you & your enthusiastic group over the last 2 days. They were a delight to be with - on the courts, on the bus, & doing the Vienna culture scene with very interesting embassy & UNO visits & Donauturm & dinner. Sport is an extra special way to see the world & it's so great being able to mix with the locals.  Very many thanks for having me "on board".

At the 34th Annual Presentation Evening in early September, the Club was delighted to welcome the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon, as Guest of Honour to present many awards.  The role of the Lord Lieutenant being to represent HM the Queen in the region.  In attendance too were the Mayor and Mayoress of Darlington, Councillor Tom and Mrs Gill Nutt who have been great supporters of the Club and toured Rome last year with the players.  Also present were the last two Mayors of Darlington with their wives.

Included were a group from Phoenix Badminton Club, Wolsingham, with their Team Manager Mr Steve Dunnett.  Phoenix toured with Hummersknott on the July tour and received their certificates from that from Mrs Snowdon.

Sara Jenson, Deputy CEO of “The Key_your potential unlocked”  group, attended to listen to a presentation from James Henderson, Tom Freary and Daniel Smart after the successful International tournament the club hosted in March in Sheffield thanks to the funding provided for the project by The Key.  Sara complimented the whole group on their project and skills developed in doing so.

The 12 day tour produced comments such as the following from the Team Captain 

“I should add that many of us don't only look forward to it more than Christmas, but without a doubt enjoy it much more. I suppose Christmas and the tour are synonymous in some ways: tours are at the end of the academic year rather than the calendar year; they are a time where you get to escape from the pressures of 'normal' life and spend it with your family (even if they aren't blood relatives).”

Team Vice-Captain said:

“I eagerly look forward to these trips every year. Knowing that after all the struggles of exams and hours of bag packing, awaits a short period away doing what I love with people that I love, really does keep me going. For me, this is why the trips must continue. Everyone should have the opportunity to grow in maturity, integrate with other cultures, and most of all; make lifelong friends just like I've had the opportunity to do. Better than 12 consecutive days of Christmas easily.”

It seems what the Club does is unique in world youth sport and players and associates look forward to the next times they travel to represent Darlington.

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