1,600 schools entered the competition which started in November. 32,000 players have played in the competition and we had qualified for the National Schools’ Finals : one of only 9 teams.
We arrived at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes, where all the top National badminton players train and play, as one of the nine best girls’ teams in the country.
The competition was organised in three sections of three schools. We had Hardenhuish School from Chippenham, in Wiltshire and Chelsford County High School, Essex in our section and we were seeded number two behind Chelmsford. Each match consisted of 5 matches (2 singles and 3 doubles) so each team was aiming to win at least 3 of the games to win the match.
Our first match was against Hardenhuish. After 3 games we were 2-1 down so could not afford to lose one of the final two doubles matches. We won the 4th game 21-19 (which was very tight) and then the 5th game 21-10 so the match was ours.
We then played Chelmsford who proved too strong for us and we lost by 4 games to 1. (Congratulations to Natasha and Aisling for winning the one game). However all the games were very close and one or two of them could have gone either way.
These results of one win and one loss placed us second in our section. This put us in another section of three teams who would play off for 4th -6th place.
Our first match was against Wakefiels Girls’ High School who had looked quite strong from the earlier round. However the girls played some magnificent badminton and we won the match 5-0 with only one close score.
Our final match of the day was against Ecclesbourne School, Derbyshire, who had also beaten Wakefield but 4-1. After three games we were 2-1 down. Our first doubles couple won 21-17 so the score was 2-2 and everything depended on the final doubles game which we won 21-9.
We had won our group and were the 4th : the 4th best school in England.
Thank you to all the players for a wonderful tournament. They all played so hard and well deserved their success. Congratulations to Natasha Devbhandari, Priya Basnet, Georgia Bailey, Aisling Reid and Ella Davidson.
In the middle of the competition the girls met former Olympian Anthony Clark along with Team England player Tom Wolfenden. The girls were encouraged to ask questions and two of our team won Amazon vouchers as a result of the questions they asked. Aisling Reid also won a badminton bag – so she did have a great day!!!!!!
Thank you also to Mrs Reid, Mrs Bailey and Mrs Davidson for organising the transport and supporting the team at the tournament. Your help is very much appreciated.