The entrance for Bucklers Mead Sports Centre has moved from the top of St John's Rd around the corner into St Michael's Ave and Givele Close. Google's satellite view and street view don't show the changes and your satnav probably won't either, so see our Bucklers Map instead.
Preston Badminton Club started as a spin-off from Shuttlebusters playing matches on Fridays at Preston Sports Centre with entries in Division 2 of the West Dorset Mixed League and in the WD Four Two League (this latter a joint venture including players from Crewkerne Badminton Club) with a separate team in Division 3 of the Taunton Badminton League.
With Preston no longer a viable option as a venue the West Dorset teams played as Prestonians with matches on Fridays at Oxley Sports Centre, this time with the Mixed team in Division 1 being a joint venture with Crewkerne and the two clubs playing separately in the FourTwo league. The Taunton League team reverted to our previous team name as Preston Racketeers with matches at Westlands on Saturdays.
Prestonians disbanded at the end of the 2011-2012 season (after being relegated, 2nd bottom) and the Rackeeters withdrew from the Taunton League (after finishing 2nd in the division) to enter a new team in the West Dorset League with another change of venue (Saturdays aren't allowed in the WDL) and a 1st place finish in Divison 2.
Racketeers survived the season in Division 1 with the other promoted team being the team to be relegated. Three wins included one against an established 1st division side. One opponent went to the wrong venue and another went somewhere else entirely, both in spite of being provided with maps and instructions.
Racketeers finished bottom of Division 1 with only one win, being hampered by injuries and absences and stronger opposition. Results actually improved with a lot more close games, but the season showed that to be effective we need to have a team in the bottom division so that new players can start out in games that are more balanced - not playing pick-up-the-shuttles against county players.
Racketeers are top of Division 2 with only one defeat - a close game away at the end of a long road trip. Hopefully for next season we'll be looking for players to play both divisions.
We don't have a club night but you will find our players in club nights at Shuttlebusters Seasons, Crewkerne and probably everywhere else. We do have practice, training and coaching sessions. Members don't have to pay a sub (this may change) but we are an affiliated club and members must pay an affiliation fee to the national association in the usual way.
CLUB vs TEAM
We reckon league clubs have objectives that are not compatible with those of a development club so Shuttlebusters plays only in friendly, social and development matches. We hope keeping our teams and club separate will mean the teams can keep a clear focus on match play and the club can keep a clear focus on player development.
We think clubs sometimes make life more difficult than necessary by trying to march in two directions at once. A team that's striving to win is interested first and foremost in the best players, quite rightly, but we need some clubs to be open and inclusive so new players can settle in and get up to speed in their own time. Club nights in most badminton clubs are either easy going & social (and not much help for team perfomance) or hard practice & training (which is too challenging for people who are still learning).
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