Moyvane Badminton Club

by Olive Keane

Badminton was first introduced to Moyvane in 1975. The first Club was a Juvenile Club formed by Fr. Brosnan. It was played in the old Marian Hall, and even though the roof was low and the Court size about three quarters the size of a normal court, the young people of the parish played the new game with enthusi- asm, skill and success. In 1976 Moyvane were among the prize winners in the County Championships held in Tarbert. Successful players of the time were Rita Groarke, William Flaherty, Tony O’Donoghue, Paula and Colm Kennedy.

In 1984, with the opening of the New Community Centre and its facilities of three courts -William Flaherty, Chairman and Ann Marie Corridan Secretary formed the senior club with a membership of 46. The first Invitation Tournament was in 1986 with Perpetual Trophies donated by the late Eileen Brosnan R.I.P. and Sean and Betty O’Connor Supermarket. Players came from allover the County to compete. Since then Perpetual trophies have been donated by Paddy Lynch, Tom and Eileen Roche, Eamon and Julie Fitzmaurice.

The juvenile club continued to flourish under the expert coaching of Madge Groarke and her hardworking committee including Margaret O’Connor. Secretary, Marie Stack and Margaret Mulvihill Treasurers. In the Community Games, Moyvane under 15’s represented Moyvane and Kerry nine years in a row. They went all the way to Mosney in 1989 and brought home Silver. This was the first Kerry Badminton team to rep- resent Munster in Mosney. Bronze was won in 1992 and Silver again in 1994. This is an amazing achievement for such a small parish and congratulations firstly to all the players and secondly to their excellent coach Madge Groarke and her assistants Eileen Roche, Julie Fitzmaurice and Teddy Keane and all the other senior members that helped during those years.

In the county schools competition, Moyvane players dominated all the school teams they played on. In 1992 the four winning teams were Presentation Convent, Listowel in both under 16s and over 16s in the girls section. The boys were St. Brendans, Killarney in under 16s and St. Michaels, Listowel in the over 16s. All four teams were captained by Moyvane players.

The senior club continued to grow and had many successes in Championships and Leagues down the years. In 1997 the Tarbert club closed and eight of its members joined Moyvane and players are still travelling to to Moyvane twice a week to play badminton.

In the Millennium year, the senior club has 45 members, including four league teams under the Chairperson of Eileen Roche and Secretary Betty Lane. They ran a very successful Invitation Tournament on the 16th January 2000, and had eighty-four competitors. Some travelled from as far away as Portmagee and Cahirciveen. Newtownsandes Co-Op. kindly sponsored this Tournament. Local prizewinners were Jennifer Keane, Carmel Collins, Pat Higgins, Brid Ahern, James Sheehan and Katriona Hanrahan.

The Juvenile Club under the new officers of Chairperson, Eileen Kennelly and Secretary Betty Ann McSweeney have fifty members, and hopefully the young people of Moyvane will continue to play bad- minton and represent us in the coming years with the same success and dedication of their predecessors. To their present coaches, Amanda Carmody, Marie O’Connor, John McCarthy, Joseph Curtin, Eileen Nolan, Carmel Collins, Carmel Hudson, Brian Keane and Michelle Lynch keep up the good work.

This is a brief account of Moyvane Badminton since its formation. It is a game that can be enjoyed by the very young and the not so young! We hope that the game will be played, with the same enjoyment, skill, commitment and sportsmanship in the coming years as it was in the past. Many thanks to all our past members and sponsors and we look to the future with hope and optimism.