The Niagara-on-the-Lake men’s senior badminton club is looking to fill out its roster with a few more players for next season.
And it’s offering free sessions in April to try to recruit newcomers.
Club president Brian Law took over the club after former president Ted Little left in December.
“In the past, we’ve filled three courts,” Law said.
A club member for about four years, Law remembers before the pandemic there were almost 35 members.
After lockdowns, the membership had dwindled to closer to five.
The club now has grown to about 15 members, half of what it was before the pandemic.
“This coming year, we’re going to start with two courts,” Law said.
Neil Robinson, who has been playing with the club for about a year, said they need at least 20 players if they’re going to use three courts next season.
The club’s average turnout is about eight to 12 players, Robinson said.
Sessions run from October to April and members pay $150 for the season, but new members can play for free this April as part of an effort to boost membership in time for next fall.
“We cater to all levels of play,” Law said.
The club mostly serves men over 50 as it gets a discount on court rentals so long as the majority of the club is over 50.
While Law and Robinson said it’s a casual club, Law said some games can get “quite competitive.”
“For those that really play, even in doubles, you really get a good workout.” He added. “It’s a pretty fast game.”
They don’t hold tournaments but members often go for post-match lunches and other social outings.
The players say the social aspect of the club is as important as the actual games.
Sessions are every Monday and Friday from 10:30 to 12:30 in the auditorium of the community centre.
The club is open to all men over 50. Anyone interested in playing can contact Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 289-630-1828.