I hope you’ve had a good month! It’s been a memorable one. There were a number of Goslings accomplishments to celebrate so let’s report back to you on these.

This month we launched our much anticipated session in Elephant & Castle. Your Committee worked hard to establish this weekly session to a) manage increasing demand, especially on Thursdays and b) to venture in to South London. So far this night has been a success with numbers reaching over 30 players every Friday so far. The first night tied in nicely with our second social event of the year. Thanks to Neil, Alan and Michael for their efforts. No doubt we will make this night a regular success but for now we’re monitoring numbers before committing to this being a permanent fixture. But so far so good, and we’ve noticed Thursday numbers have gone back to manageable levels. We’d also encourage some of you to try out other sessions including Monday and Wednesday. We are aware that some wish to know their grading before this happens so feel free to ask a Committee member if you are unsure; one of us would be happy to let you know. We are exploring coaching options as we really want to support players progress to the next level. But as you can imagine this involves negotiating and planning so please bear with us.

April brought a lot of achievements for our members competing abroad from Amsterdam to Tours in France. Looks like many of you had a fun time and came away having given your personal best. And there are lots more of these to come in the year with Prague taking place this very weekend! Best of luck to those going. Prague is a well organised event in a beautiful city and no doubt you will have a great time.

Our very own international tournament is coming along nicely. Some places have been taken up by international participants. The organising committee is working hard with comms and getting other important matters sorted too from catering to venue hire for the social events. We aim to open registration for Goslings and other London Clubs and players on 6th June.

In the coming weeks we are also going to open our registration for our annual summer fun tournament. It’ll take place on 14th July in London and will accommodate 72 players. We plan on opening registration this month so look out for that. The games will be followed by our annual AGM where you will have a chance to hear from your Committee as to what we have been up to and hold us to account on our finances and other matters. We’re securing a venue that will provide food and drink. So more on that this coming month.

This month a small group of us represented Goslings at the annual Sports Fair at Southbank University. There were hundreds of people who attended this to see and speak to reps from many sports clubs from swimming, cycling to football and volleyball. We attracted many interested individuals and were complimented on having a welcoming and diverse team of people. A couple even said they had read about us after reading the brilliant article on our Nigel about his time at Goslings. Thank you to Andy, Bal, Lucy and Russell for being there and getting so many people to sign up, and to Lex for helping us set up and to Sarah for the photos. Your Committee encourage you to try other sports and we will send out information as these come to our notice.

We say a sad goodbye to Alister Morris. Alister has been on the Committee for some years helping Nat out on Wednesdays. He had moved down to London for work and returns up north for another job. We wish him the very best and thank him for his efforts. We’ll miss his support and his great wit and laughter. His departure adds to the number of opportunities for you to come and support a Committee member run a session. If you would like to do so, you must be a regular attendee of that session with time and energy to work with the Committee member to better support them and help run it; you will also be required to attend the odd Committee meeting, which take place quarterly. If you are interested please let Ubaid know by email and the Committee will review your application and come back to you. The sessional vacancies are: Monday (one vacancy), Wednesday (one vacancy), Thursday (two vacancies) and Sunday (one vacancy).

We end with some notes on the Thursday Member of the Month. Our April MoM award went to Sean Giles. We celebrated his continued enthusiasm and development of skills. He’s also just joined the Thursday door rota. He had moved to London and wanted to take up badminton again as well as make new friends – Goslings appealed to his needs. He says: It’s “been the best thing I’ve done in the last 2 years. Not only has just my badminton ‘slowly improved’ but I can genuinely say I’ve already met some friends for life.” His advice to those thinking of giving badminton a go is: “Don’t be nervous about joining! Everyone is super friendly and willing to help with all your badminton woes.” Thanks Sean and well done again.

So onwards to May when here’s hoping the weather will improve and we can enjoy the warmth and sunshine! Wishing you a great bank holiday weekend!

Your Goslings Committee