St Phillips remain positive after leaving long-established home

PASTURES NEW: St Phillips ABC are looking to the future after leaving their Scaltback base
PASTURES NEW: St Phillips ABC are looking to the future after leaving their Scaltback base

St Phillips Amalgamated Badminton Club may have had little option but to relocate, but its members are nevertheless determined to make the most of their new surroundings.

The club had been playing matches at Scaltback Middle School’s Sports Hall for over 40 years, but Suffolk County Council’s plans to close the facility by Christmas ahead of its demolition had left St Phillips facing the prospect of becoming homeless.

However, Newmarket Leisure Centre has stepped into the breach, with St Phillips linking up with Newmarket Badminton Club to host club evenings on Friday nights, while home matches are offered played at sports centres in Burwell and Soham.

It is a far-from-ideal situation for all concerned, but St Phillips committee member John Harvey is hoping there will be some positives to come from the enforced move.

“The facilities we have are good, but it is not like having your own home,” said Harvey.

“Friday nights are not always ideal because people tend to have social events on those evenings, so there is a little bit of disruption.

“But it looks like being this way for the medium term, which means we have to make the most of it.

“In fairness, I am yet to receive any adverse feedback and being in the sports centre might give us a boost.

“We were a little tucked away at Scaltback and relied heavily on word of mouth when it came to attracting new members. We will be more visible now and with plenty of people coming through the door, it could boost numbers.

“There is an extra court — we have gone from three to four — so there is plenty of room.”

For those interested in finding out more about the club and how to join, contact Sue McKeown on or 07742 307945

n Newmarket Badminton Club Men’s A Team were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in their latest Division One encounter in the Newmarket Badminton Federation.

They bounced back from a 6-0 defeat to St Edmunds with their first win of the campaign.

They recorded a 4-2 success over Abbeygate but the Scaltback-based side then had to make do with a 3-3 draw at home to Ely Victoria after squandering a 3-1 lead.