This was the first of many badminton matches that Fakenham Academy would play in the Norfolk Schools Badminton League. The boys were both excited and apprehensive, as was I, as we climbed into the minibus and headed to Ormiston Victory near Norwich.
Will Warnes and Matty Lucking had represented the school before in various games, but my Year 8’s Alfie Cator, Charlie Page, Sam Dixon and Thomas Flint this was only their 4th time as 3 of the 4 only started playing badminton at the beginning of Year 7. Alfie Cator however plays in Kings Lynn and has also represented the County.
We amazingly arrived at Ormiston Victory at 3pm without getting lost and I only stalled the minibus once at this point and the boys were eager to point it out.
This was an early start for us as our opposition finish school at 2.45pm. Yes 2.45pm!! and after a quick warm up the lads soon realised that the floor was rather slippery and they should have brought their skates not trainers.
I paired up the boys; Will with Matty, Alfie with Sam and Charlie with Thomas and all three pairs played really well only dropping one of the nine games they played. Fakenham were just too strong for the older Ormiston Victory team.
As usual however our boys weren’t keen to rush off and before we left, split up and continued to play some friendly games which was rather sporting and enjoyable for Ormiston too.
Then we were off, to the main reason why we have to play badminton, McDonalds! Charlie kindly informed us that the Longwater Restaurant was closed so we had to trundle along the A47 to Dereham to the next McDonalds. We all got served quickly and Alfie recognized a past student, Sam Bayfield and we all had a chat with him.
On the way out of McDonalds Mrs Price surprisingly stalled the minibus AGAIN to the amusement of the lads and we arrive back at Fakenham at 5.45pm.
Although it is a very long day when you have a fixture after school the boys were great ambassadors for the school. They were smart in their kit, polite, sporting and great fun to be with. I was really proud of them and will definitely take them again!!!