Stopsley (previously known as Redton) Badminton Club was originally formed in 1979 by a group of young keen male badminton players. To start with 3 or 4 of these young men would book a badminton court at the Luton Regional Sports Centre each week. At that time badminton courts could be booked 6 days in advance and only one court at a time so consequently courts would get booked up very quickly. So on the dot of 9.00 am 6 days in advance one of these players would ring the sports centre to book a court. As time went on more men joined these players until 3 people would be ringing on the dot of 9.00 am 6 days in advance to book courts. As you can imagine this became a bit of a nuisance so they decided to form a club. By forming a club they could make a block booking at the beginning of the season which would make life much easier.
So one night they sat in the bar at the Luton Regional after a hard night’s badminton and realised that this new club would need a name. Should it be ‘Stopsley’ where they were playing, or should it be Arsenal or Highbury, but not everyone was an Arsenal fan! Then they hit on a very bright idea. Some of the players lived at Redbourn and some at Luton, so how about a combination of the 2 towns. Lubourn or Redlu didn’t somehow sound right but then they hit on ‘Redton’ and that is how Redton Badminton Club came about.
By this time a couple of the wives were having badminton lessons. The men thought it would be a good idea to include women in this new club, so the wives joined and brought along some of the other women who were also having lessons.
Initially it was decided to play from 8.00 to 10.00 pm Friday evenings and have a membership of 20, 10 men and 10 women.
At that time when badminton was so popular it was not difficult to find 20 players and a waiting list was formed. Guest players from the waiting list were invited when club members were unable to attend.
To start with Stopsley was purely a social club but as players began to improve some decided they would like a crack at league badminton. So in the early eighties Stopsley entered one team in the Bedfordshire Medley League. They started in Division 16/17 which they won.
Over the next few years they gradually climbed up the league tables and it wasn’t long before another league team was entered, then another, then another. Stopsley grew so much that at one time they had 4 medley teams, a mixed team, a ladies team and a men’s team.
After a few years the leagues became a little depleted and it was obvious badminton was losing some of its appeal. Some of the original players were not so young anymore, so the way forward seemed to be to invite junior players into the club and it wasn’t so long after that that Stopsley formed it’s own junior club.
Eventually the Medley A Team reached Division 1, and over the years this team has fluctuated between Division 1 and 2. Indeed this team has included many of the original junior players.
Even though badminton is in decline, Stopsley still manage to maintain a team in the Bedfordshire medley league. Club nights are still held on Fridays, always well attended and popular. It was decided at about this time and due to the fact that badminton wasn’t as popular as in the past to change the name to ‘Stopsley’, more in keeping where we actually play.
Stopsley try to keep their fees as low as possible by holding fundraising events, such as raffles and Quiz Nights.
After it’s very humble beginnings Stopsley should feel very proud. They have had several county players play for them at senior level and lots of the juniors have played at junior county level.
Get in touch today to come along and join a friendly and competitive atmosphere. Simply fill in the form on the right >
Alternatively, call us on 07790 541546.
Where we play
Inspire: Luton Sports Village
Butterfield Green Road
Off Hitchin Road
When we play
8pm - 10.30pm
Bedfordshire Medley League
Bedfordshire Men's League