Nat Baker sets up a soft return during adult drop-in badminton at C.E. Barry gym. Sessions run from 6:30 to 8:30 on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Drop-in bandminton back in action

Sessions run Monday and Wednesday evenings at C.E. Barry gym

Doubles badminton. You’ve got roughly 35 square metres to share with your partner… so 17 or 18  different squares for you to cover — and you’ve got about a second to figure out where to be before the bird gets back in your court.

Getting to the right spot is half the battle. Thinking up a sneaky play in your spare nanosecond will help you turn the tables on the other team. Have a mental lapse and your team will be in hot water…in about one second.

No worries, though: it’s only recreational. Laugh off the errors and get ready for the next serve.

Hope’s adult drop-in badminton is back in action, from 6:30 to 8:30 on Monday and Wednesday nights at the C.E. Barry gym — and organizer Inge Wilson is hoping to see a return of the established regulars from past years, along with some new recruits.

The C.E. Barry gym has room for three doubles games, meaning 12 players could be active at one time – but so far there has only been one night with 12 players. Many nights have seen one or two courts unused.

Hope can do better than that.

“You can always count on good weather and warm temperatures,” says Wilson, who has been leading the group on behalf of the Hope and District Recreation Commission since 2003.

You can also count on a low-cost night out. The drop-in fee — which has stayed at $2 for at least the past decade — covers the cost of shuttlecocks and provides insurance through the Rec Commission’s blanket coverage. All you need to supply is a racquet and a pair of non-marking sneakers.

Total beginners may feel a little daunted about the skill level required. Athletic ability is an asset — but perseverance and a willingness to learn will also get you on your way.

“Some people come out once and we never see them again,” says Wilson. “Others become our new regulars.”

Cindy Izawa, who has been a regular since the 20th century says, “There’s a bit of a stigma with some athletic people that badminton is just knocking the bird around. It’s not. You can get a really good work-out.”