The inaugural Scottish Disability Sport/Lothian Disability Badminton Club (LDBC) Championships were held at Engage Centre, at Edinburgh’s Napier University on Saturday 28th January. Given the inclusion of para-badminton in the programme for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics it is imperative that the pathways from local to national involvement in this fine sport are strengthened. Part of this process is ensuring players are exposed to relevant competitive opportunities against their peers from around Scotland and this event served to fulfil that role with both Scotland’s top players and those slightly newer to the sport competing across 21 sections to determine who would become the first ever champions of this event.
The competition saw sections in the categories of standing, wheelchair and players with a learning disability – with players banded into sub-sections appropriately. In the SL3 section the pre-tournament favourite Alan Oliver was victorious as expected, but not before being tested by his stablemate Colin Leslie in both the group stages and the final. They were to meet again in the final of the doubles event where in one of the most exciting matches of the tournament Alan and Bobby Laing prevented Colin from exacting revenge for his singles defeat. Colin and David Purdie eventually lost 16-21, 22-20, 21-19 however, the match was as close as it gets and it seemed an injustice that one side had to lose. Colin, however, was not to be denied a gold medal and was rewarded for his endeavour by victory in the mixed doubles with the experienced Mary Wilson – a familiar face across many sports on the SDS programme. They defeated Bobby Laing and Dierdrie Nagle in the final. Bobby and Dierdrie did manage to win the SS6 Mixed doubles title beating the Davidson siblings Finlay and Sky. Bobby added a further two gold medals to his collection in the SS6 Singles and the SL4 Singles events defeating Andrew Davidson and David Purdie respectively.
Lothian Disability Badminton Club – so integral to this event’s inauguration – saw further success through player and coach Fiona Christie comfortably won the WH section with further LDBC success in the form of Ross Foley’s doubles win.
The sections for players with a learning disability were very hotly contested with Grant Hunter defeating Michael McGraw in the final of the Class 1 section, reversing the result from the earlier group stage. Michael McGraw was able to taste victory in the Men’s Doubles event though, before Grant Hunter added the Mixed title to his Singles success, partnering Linzi Finnigan to defeat the ever-present Michael McGraw and Jenny Gray. Fife’s Lloyd Simpson and Lothian’s Matthew Power claimed the Class 2 & 3 titles respectively with Diane Gillian doing the Class 1 ‘double’ with title wins in the Singles & Doubles events, partnering Aimee-Leigh Allan.
SDS is grateful to the efforts of all the players who competed, and the officials and volunteers of Badminton Scotland who marshalled the event so expertly on the day. Thanks should also go to Lyndon Williams, who saw this event through from inception to implementation but was regrettably unable to join in the fun on the day as a prior engagement in Wales precluded his involvement. All in all a fantastic first event and one that should become a fixture on the national calendars of both SDS and Badminton Scotland. Thanks to all involved for their efforts in ensuring its undoubted success.
Full results can be found at SDS/ LDBC Tournament Results
Photo Credit: Roselind Hall
Photo (L to R): Men’s Doubles Finalists: David Purdie & Colin Leslie (Runners-up), Bobby Laing & Alan Oliver (Winners)
SDS Events Manager