Club History and Achievements
The YMCA is one of the longest running badminton clubs in Ipswich, with a very rich history that spans over nearly 80 years. Badminton of course, dates back much further. There is some dispute over the exact origins of badminton, but the game as we know it was believed to be created by British military officers stationed in in British India in the early 1800’s. The game was brought back by these retired officers and the name given by the Duke of Beaufort, after Badminton House.
It remained an elite sport, being played normally by the officers or members of the elite class. Indeed in early 1930’s members of the YMCA tennis club were looking for a winter time activity to play out of the tennis season. They decided to play badminton and so Colin Hall formed the YMCA Badminton Club.
Badminton and most indoor sports ceased in 1939 due the Second World war, as the halls were requisitioned for furniture stores to aid the war effort. After the end of the war, in 1945, the YMCA badminton club was reformed.
They played in a single court hall in the Social Hall, but then the YMCA badminton club was awarded a grant from the Central Council for Physical Recreation to build a new sports hall facility. The YMCA still plays at the YMCA sports hall and has never moved far from its’ roots.
The Ipswich and District Badminton League was formed to allow clubs from around the County to play in a competitive and structured league. The YMCA has enjoyed a lot of success through the years since its formation.
While we have had a lot of success winning trophies, it has never been our only goal. YMCA badminton supports the development of the game, and all people who wish to participate, whatever their goals and abilities.
As a club, we have always had a successful club night and varying levels of teams to accommodate people of all skill levels, run exchange programmes with schools, participated in the Youth Games and many of our players representing the Suffolk team over past and current seasons.
From our successful history of the club, we will continue to build a sustainable future for badminton, in an enjoyable environment for its current and future members.
In recent months we have had to relocate and are now playing at Chantry Community Sports Centre. All the members hope this will prove to be as successful a venue as the YMCA was for many years with a new name of YM Exiles.