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Badminton hopes hit by YUSU coach errors

York's men's badminton teams have been left frustrated with a series of transport errors that have led to them forfeiting a number of games. (Thumbnail credit Image: Philippa Grafton)

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York's men's badminton teams have been left frustrated with a series of transport errors that have led to them forfeiting a number of games.

Three of the four matches they have been due to travel to by coach, involving both the men's firsts and seconds, had to be forfeited after the teams arrived late.

The errors now mean that both teams, as well as the men's thirds, could be in danger of relegation.

Blonnie Walsh, Badminton Press and Publicity rep commented that "It's an embarrassment to both the team and the University as a whole, especially as these circumstances could have easily been avoided."

The first instance was during week two, as the seconds team arrived late for their match with Huddersfield due to another club who were sharing the coach turning up late, meaning the final two games of the tie had to be abandoned, with York losing 5-3.

A formal complaint was lodged, but on November 16 the firsts team arrived an hour and forty minutes late for their match at Northumbria because of problems picking up other teams and finding the venue. As a result, the match went down as an 8-0 defeat for York.

On the same day, the seconds were also due to play Northumbria thirds at a separate venue, but were also forced to forfeit their match against the side bottom of their league.

In that division, both York's seconds and thirds are now faced with the threat of relegation after Northumbria collected some much-needed points, whilst the firsts are also in danger of dropping out of the BUCS Northern Conference 1A.

Men's firsts captain Baillie Watterson commented on the events, saying, "This situation may have serious consequences for all three men's teams which are now fighting to avoid relegation, through no fault of their own".

He added that, "Teams should only go down if they are the worst and only go up if they are the best", rather than due to disorganization of YUSU buses.

After a series of meetings, the badminton club were given the option of "opting out" of shared coach travel, though Badminton Treasurer John Sinclair said this would cause "significant financial damage to the club" as they would be left with the cost of full coaches or trains.

YUSU are now looking into the possibility of using hire cars, as well as enforcing a series of stringent new rules regarding coach travel, to prevent drivers from turning back to pick up other teams after the designated departure time, and to ensure that proper checks are taken as to the likely duration of the journey and the location of the venue.

Stephen Hallett, Badminton Team President, has been told that YUSU "will be implementing a new rule where coaches leave 10 minutes after the deadline as an absolute maximum" and that these slip ups will "never happen again."

Despite these mistakes, Watterson says that the club are now happy to continue using the coach service, "provided the new rules are enforced and YUSU can guarantee the situation will not happen again".

Sam Asfahani said: "We have taken these problems extremely seriously."

Problems with coaches are not merely confined to York's Badminton team, however.

Lauren Hunter, a second year lacrosse player stated that "YUSU never leave enough time for the teams to get to their matches".

She explained that "Lacrosse have travelled to matches with two other sports teams on the bus, meaning the bus has to drop off in three different places and sometimes this has delayed our arrival by almost an hour".

Sam Unswoth, the University's Hockey president also weighed in on the situation, saying, "The principal issue highlights for me is how chronically underfunded sport is at York".

He added that "if clubs could afford to send teams on an individual basis, the vast majority of these problems would be alleviated".

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