The latest North Tyneside Social Badminton tournament was another great success.  47 players (with an age range of 15 to 79) from all over the North East, took part in the event at The Parks Sports Centre in North Shields.  One of the regular competitors, Jo Donaldson, who picked up another two trophies, commented:

What a fantastic diversity in ages of the players from the young to the spritely older players.  It was great to see familiar faces, but an extra bonus was seeing all the new faces.  This led to a very good variety of games.

The older players certainly gave the younger ones a run for their money!  In fact the ages of the Men’s Doubles finalists were 60, 50, 46 and 79!  Derek Gilhespie and Simon Entwistle, runners-up in the previous tournament, were victorious this time over rivals father and son Will and Mark Henderson, winning 21-12.  79 year old Will, playing with his glasses sellotaped together (accidentally broken by his partner son in a previous group game!), was absolutely delighted with his runners-up trophy.

There were lots of close games in all 3 events.  The Women’s Doubles, played in one group of 6 pairs, produced the tightest finish, with 3 pairs each winning 4 of their 5 matches.  Jacqui Lawton and Jo Donaldson emerged as overall winners by 3 points!  Northumbria University students Xinxin Liang and Shan Huang were runners-up by virtue of having beaten Diane Michie and Geraldine Dodds 21-18.  However, Diane and Geraldine were later jointly awarded the Ladies’ Over 50s trophy for outstanding performance in recognition of their efforts.

The Mixed Doubles, with 19 pairs playing in 3 groups, produced many excellent close matches.  The semi-finals were both won 21-19, and featured players with a wide range of ages.  In a close, hard fought final, Northumbria University students Hailun Xie and Xinxin Liang just overcame the older and more experienced pair of Derek Gilhespie and Jo Donaldson 21-18.  They were popular winners and really enjoyed their first social tournament.  Mike Turton received the Over 50s Men’s award for his excellent play and effort throughout the tournament.  Mike was delighted, and commented:

We all really enjoyed it.  Everybody embraced the spirit of friendly competition.  All the games were fun, even the ones I lost!

The tournament organisers, Norma and Mike Waterfield, assisted by volunteers from The Parks and Bewicke Badminton Clubs, were absolutely delighted with the tournament.  Norma commented:

These social tournaments are great, one of the best things we have been involved in setting up over our many years as badminton volunteers.

The next social tournament is already booked in for Sunday 18th March 2018 at John Spence Community High School in North Shields.  Entry forms will be available in early February.