Strings Badminton Club was formed in the summer of 2004. Before that time, most of the founder members had been playing together socially after work for a number of years. Then some bright sparks decided that we were good enough to put together a team and enter the local leagues. After much discussion and emails, Strings was born. We were lucky in that one of our members had been playing in the local leagues for a number of years. So drawing on his experience, we put him in charge of the club (where he remained until the start of the 2013/14 season).
For the 2004/5 season we entered the Stevenage Badminton League and soon discovered that we weren't as good as we thought we were (Division 3 -- finished 6th out of 7). We also played some friendlies with other local clubs. We used Yonex Mavis 370 shuttles as these seemed to be the choice of most of the SBL teams.
For the 2005/6 season we were still in SBL Division 3, but we also entered a team in the Hertford Area Badminton League Men's 4s (Division 2). We changed our shuttles to Carlton F1 as we could get these in yellow (unlike the Mavis 370), which helps greatly against one particular off-white wall at the Leisure Centre. Opinion was divided in the team as to whether they were better or worse than the 370.
For the 2006/7 season we were still in SBL Division 3. The HABL Men's 4s had been divided into 4 divisions (we were in Division 3) and we also entered a team in the HABL Medley 4 league. We were still using the Carlton F1 shuttles as they seem to be indestructable and we had a considerable number of tubes left over from 2005/6!
For the 2007/8 season we put six teams together: Two for SBL (Divisions 3 & 4), two for HABL Men's 4s (both in Division 3), HABL Medley 4 (Division 1) and a team for friendlies. We changed venue from Stevenage Leisure Centre to Shephall Leisure Centre and changed back to using Yonex Mavis 370 shuttles.
For the 2008/9 season we really pushed the boat out and had 8 teams entered in local leagues, even though we only had 22 members. We had the same teams from last year (the HABL Men's 4s A team earned promotion to Division 2), but added a second HABL Medley 4 team and a Men's 4 team in the Biggleswade & District Badminton League. Venue & shuttles as before, though we still had some Carlton F1 shuttles left!
For the 2009/10 season we had 9 teams entered in local leagues. We had the same teams from last year, but added a team in the Letchworth & District Badminton League.
For the 2010/11 season we still had 9 teams, but swapped a HABL Men's 4 team for a HABL Medley 4 team.
For the 2011/12 season we kept the same teams as the previous season. There were a few personnel changes within some of the teams due to injuries, but they stayed mostly the same.
For the 2012/13 season we have dropped the HABL Medley 4 C team and replaced it with another BiggBad Mens 4 team due to a change in the men:ladies ratio. We have managed to secure some mid-week court time at Stevenage Leisure Centre which frees up some Sunday slots to allow us to enter a HABL Mixed 6 team.
The start of the 2013/14 season saw a dramatic change in the club with the departure of our founder and figurehead. Personnel changes in the club have led to some teams being totally revamped. However, we were able to keep all of the teams from last season with the exception of the HABL Mixed 6, which we have had to drop.
For the 2014/15 season we have again had more personnel changes, with some players deciding they want fewer matches and some deciding they want none. However, we have also had some experienced players join us, so not all bad news. We are down to six teams this year and have had to disband all our Men's 4s teams, leaving us with three HABL Medley teams, two SBL teams and a Letchworth team.
Why Strings? Well, we needed a name in a hurry and it was the first thing our illustrious leader thought of!