Badminton, once a thriving sport in Mayo, is being reformed. After a long break the Mayo Badminton Association is organising a new league in which beginners are invited to take part.
In the 1980's badminton was flourishing all over the country and Mayo was no different. Every village had a club and at least one team participating in the Mayo Leagues. There were four divisions with up to eight teams in each division. Clubs were spread all over the county from Tourmakeady to
Belmullet and Ballina to Barnacarroll.
At its peak there were 18 registered clubs in Mayo but due to a variety of reasons interest in the sport at an adult level weaned. However the adult clubs in Ballina, Castlebar, Crossmolina and Westport managed to survive and indeed Ballina went on to win several provincial and All-Ireland titles both as a club and as individuals.
Surprisingly, those days could be about to return as badminton has begun to make a comeback around the county. After a long break of over ten years the Mayo Badminton Association have decided to try to get clubs involved in a Mayo league and as a first step have organised a beginners or also known as a graded H league.
There are four clubs in this league: Ballina, Crossmolina, Crimlin and Straide. The games are played on a home and away basis. The league commenced back in November, to date it has been a success with lots of close matches, super hospitality and new friends made. With two rounds to go it is still all to play for as there is still no clear winner of the league. The winners of this league will go on to represent Mayo in the Connacht Finals.
The Association hosts a social badminton evening every season where members and non-members of the various clubs meet play badminton and get together over a buffet. There are juvenile mayo championships held each year at under 11,13,15 and 17 age groups and several juvenile players have gone on to successfully compete in competitions all over Ireland.