Your loyal band of committee members once again gather to discuss all the league business and gossip

By Katie Garner

Where the meeting magic happens (Image:

Where the meeting magic happens (Image:

There is nothing quite so satisfying as shuffling a folder full of paper, clicking a pen into the note taking position and leaning forward, ready to listen to any gossip from recent goings on. Today heralded the arrival of another league committee meeting, where representatives from a variety of the clubs come together to discuss all the happenings of league business, to ensure a smooth and successful running of our lovely local league.

Our first matter on the agenda however, was something rather unsavoury as we had to analyse the worrying trend of a name-fixing style of cheating that has been occurring in a couple of the clubs, most notably in the men’s divisions. It has been reported that some clubs are writing down the names of league registered players on the score cards, but entirely different people are actually playing the matches instead of the selected player. This is a clear manipulation of the rules to try and sneak in different players, which we have deemed cheating and punishable by penalties. A similar problem we have encountered is with individuals playing outside of their divisions – for example, a player registered to play in a division one squad suddenly playing in a division two match, with a division two players’ name still written on the score card.

The rules on playing between divisions, is that you cannot play down, so players in division one, cannot play in division two for example. You can play up however, but only twice. So division two players could step in and play in division one if need be, but only for a maximum of two times.

The league is currently discussing the severity of the penalties to be issued, but they will definitely be issued. On the up side, this could result in our men’s squad securing first place in division four from their current spot of third, as it appears that numerous clubs in that division in particular will be receiving penalties for their behaviour.

Our other results this season are rather unhappy ones, I’m afraid to report, with both our mixed and our division two ladies coming in last places. I have discussed on numerous occasions the ups and downs of our mixed squad since moving up to division one, so this was wholehearted expected, as is a drop back down into division two – although I am keeping my fingers crossed that we can once again excel back to the top with our usual panache and uncouthly exuberant style.

Latest Challenge Cup results show that Emerson Eagles Two are through to the final after they defeated us in the semi finals. They will face either Ramgarhia or Epping, who have yet to play their semi final face off. The final will be played in the neutral grounds of Redbridge sport centre on Friday 10th May, where interestingly enough there will also be disabled people playing badminton on the same day at a special event, if anyone fancies popping along to take a look.

70th anniversary celebration plans are trundling along nicely. The knockout tournament has a total of 31 pairs entered across the clubs, with 12 mixed doubles pairs, eight ladies pairs and 13 men’s pairs, which should produce plenty of friendly rivalry to get the juices going! The trophies and medals for the winners and runners up have already been ordered, so please use that as your incentive for any last minute entries, which have to be at least emailed in by Saturday at the latest. Equally, the dinner and dance planning is also going swimmingly, with approximately 93 people confirmed to attend which is fantastic, although we are aiming for a total of 100, so if you haven’t signed up yet, please come and see me for details on club night. If we get 100 people, then we can put wine on the tables for everyone which would be lovely. A DJ has been booked for the evening, so start warming up your vocal cords and practising your dance moves. Committee member Kellie, who has been expertly arranging the event, will be doing rounds of all the clubs over the next upcoming weeks to deliver the tickets and to collect the money. Please can all people who have given their menu orders bring the £30 for their ticket to the next club night, as I will now be collecting the full totals from people to make it easier for Kellie.

Now I know you all love a good AGM, and the league AGM for this year has been pencilled in for the Wednesday 22nd May, although we have yet to find a venue, as our usual room at Becontree Heath Leisure Centre has already been booked. With possibilities at both the YMCA and Harold Hill we should be able to secure a location easily and then I can confirm the date for you. This year’s AGM will be the last for committee Chairman Len, who is stepping down this year after 70 years of loyal service to badminton players across the county. This means that the post of Chairman will be up for grabs for anyone registered in the league, so if you fancy finding out more about the post, or nominating yourself for the role, then please let me, or any of the league committee members know and I can give you the relevant contact details. All of the other representatives of secretary, treasurer, match secretary and assistant match secretary are prepared to continue to stand, so it is only the Chairman position that will need filling in May.

Another productive meeting with plenty of topics discussed and dealt with. If you have any feedback or problems you would like me to report back, then please come and let me know. At the end of the day, I am your Wychelm representative in the league committee, letting our little club be heard among the big hitters so anything you want to talk about – I’m all ears.