Deal Badminton Club: How’s your shuttlecock?

Ron Condon, founder of the Deal Badminton Club, explains why it’s a great sport for people of all ages.


We call it the Deal Badminton Club, but in reality it’s just a bunch of people who get together every Monday afternoon at Tides Leisure Centre to thrash around on a couple of courts for two enjoyable hours. It’s competitive but also a lot of fun – and it helps to keep us fit.


My wife Lesley and I started the group seven years ago. We had previously belonged to a badminton group in Beckenham where we lived before, and wanted to continue in Deal. There were a few groups in the area playing in community halls and sports halls out of town, but they tended to meet in the evening. As retired people we wanted to play during the day, and since nothing existed already, we thought “Why not start our own club?”


We put a small notice in the East Kent Mercury asking if anyone fancied joining us, and we soon had people getting in contact. Since then, the club has grown by word of mouth and we now have around 18 regular players, both men and women ranging in age from 50 to mid-70s.


We have two courts and play doubles so that there are always 8 people on court at any time, and even on a busy afternoon, no one has to wait very long to get a game.


For me personally, the club has multiple benefits. As with any sport, it keeps you fit in an enjoyable way, while forming new friendships with people you might otherwise never meet.


Rather than slog away alone in a gym or on a treadmill, it’s much more interesting to meet up with a bunch of people and play a bit of competitive sport. At our club, everyone naturally wants to win, but no one gets too upset if they lose. It’s just friendly rivalry, and that’s what makes it fun.


I’d recommend badminton to people of any age as a great sport to take up. It’s not as hard to learn as tennis and so it’s possible to play a game with very little experience. Of course, as you get better, the games get faster and more tactical.


We’re lucky in Deal to have Tides on our doorstep and the excellent new Dover Leisure Centre down the road at Whitfield. They both hire out badminton courts by the hour, so even if you’ve never played before, why not give it a go? You never know, it could set you on a new path to health, fitness and new friendships.


Originally published on Page 20 of Deal CommunityAd Magazine, Feb/March 2023 – Issue 40

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