Hummersknott Badminton – Catch the Vision. Support the Vision.


Match at Msida Arrows, Malta


Meeting with Mrs Kirsty Hayes UK Ambassador to Portugal at her Lisbon Residence

We believe that our achievements are unique in world youth sport.

Our target is £5000 by 4th January 2017

“Another magically fantastic endeavour which has certainly been the Highlight of my year. I look forward to these trips more than Christmas!” so wrote James, the last Team Captain, after a recent foreign tour.

We’re young people from Hummersknott Badminton Club and we’re trying to crowdfund money to help our student team head off on further international tours, meet like-minded young people, play badminton and experience new activities and cultures. We realise we have a huge responsibility as ambassadors too.

The trips have been building confidence, developing lifelong friendships, fostering a sense of independence and developing organisational and social skills to prepare us for later life.

James further added

“I should add that many of us don’t only look forward to it more than Christmas, but without a doubt enjoy it much more. I suppose Christmas and the tour are synonymous in some ways: tours are at the end of the academic year rather than the calendar year; they are a time where you get to escape from the pressures of ‘normal’ life and spend it with your family (even if they aren’t blood relatives).”

and another bit of feedback from Tom, a Physics Undergraduate who sent this a while ago, totally unprompted – it should relay the value these young people put on our ventures:

“Given that the pace of these trips is so quick – not far from the speed of light, some say – special relativity would predict that those on the trip experience time passing at a slower rate than normal. This definitely isn’t true! The trips whistle by far too quickly!”

And a final quote from the youngest player on the July 2016 tour (aged 12)

“Well, for a first proper trip abroad it was a good first impression. What I liked mostly, was probably the whole experience in general, the feeling of being away from home, of being out of my comfort zone, a taste of independence. Being able to play sport in so many different places. In terms of education, we took in a lot of history of the places we visited and met and learnt from many political figures. Over all, I think it was great experience, it has inspired me to carry on playing badminton and I am glad I went”

This year we also received a letter from Buckingham Palace: “Her Majesty has asked me to send you and your fellow members of Hummersknott Badminton Club her good wishes for your 2016 tour.”

So far we’ve always been able to provide free of charge local on-court play, shuttlecocks, coaching and a lot of transport. Maybe you benefited yourself?

After completing four Stages with The Key (north-east charitable organisation), we’re now trying our own crowdfunding campaign with their help. Our Club’s activities are now in their 43rd season and hundreds of players have benefited from involvement. Our Club has been touring abroad since the late 1990s and has so far played in 27 countries. This Summer 2016, we went to Malta, Spain, Andorra, Gibraltar and Portugal all new countries for the Club!

Our banner in recent seasons has been ‘Promoting Junior International Friendship Through Sport,’ which superbly echoes the Club’s ethos.

We believe that our achievements are unique in world youth sport.

The support from The Key in previous projects has been a great encouragement. It has helped the players to develop many life skills. Our tours are inevitably expensive and some players have to raise all of the funds themselves – no mean feat for students. We’ve previously managed this by participating in many bag packs: we’re not afraid of hard work. However, there are both time constraints and logistical constraints regarding the number of stores that we can attend. It is important for us to make sure academic work comes first. Whilst we’re working hard to raise the funds needed to make this sort of trip happen, we would love to do more.

Here’s where you can help and get involved in a small or large way by clicking donate!

Our Hummersknott Badminton Club Facebook page will give you links to obtain fuller details of tours and we can answer any questions that you may have.

We would like to invite donations to this fund-raising venture in a small or larger way. Every donation will be appreciated. The funds will be used to enhance planned tours and allow further tours to take place. Donors may like to consider covering the costs of some specific visit or activity and we would be happy to discuss options (including co-operating with some publicity for businesses). Another idea would be to ‘sponsor a specific student’.

But one or two steps at a time! Accepting help with this site from “The Key_your potential unlocked” means donations can be Gift Aided and provided in any currency. Of course, the Club Management Committee guarantees to use all monies raised in the spirit expressed.

Non-specific donations will be allocated to those who in the opinion of the Management Committee fulfil the following criteria:

  • Would benefit from joining a tour
  • Would enhance a tour through their involvement in it
  •  Can be confidently relied on to behave to the highest standard
  • Have made a good contribution to HBC and (where relevant) previous tours
  •  Have made a significant amount of effort with self help
  • Would otherwise be unable to join in with the amount of touring they wish to
  • Have supported the Club ethos in fund raising for others, such as Sport Relief

Initially in 2017 there are two tours referred to:

  1. 1. April to Italy especially for younger ones 8 nights in Rome and Naples (details available via Facebook link). Darlington has a Town Friendship Agreement with Bracciano in Rome entirely through the Club, with that link being initially generated in July 2014.
  2. 2. July to Central Europe principally for older ones to play badminton, benefit from the culture, education and geography. Included, we hope, is a visit Opole in Poland which has a Town Friendship Agreement with Darlington. Auschwitz is nearby by and is a life experience that we believe would enhance, in a sobering way, another tour.

We also would like to travel to Northern Ireland where we have never played but from where we have received invitations. It should be possible to include a return to Dublin, where we played many years ago, at the same time. It would also be fantastic to return to Darlington’s Twin Towns in both Mulheim and Amiens.


2018 is the Golden Jubilee of Hummersknott School (now Academy). Our Club has run for the vast majority of that time and one way of Celebrating will be to invite former players back for reunions and to play again in the Academy’s Sports Hall. This is a further particular aim of our project.

We therefore plan to provide a few occasions whereby alumni of the Club and other supporters can take part in a Badminton Bonanza Celebration in 2017 and 2018. Former players especially will be invited to come and develop the occasion as a Reunion. Please do inform us if you would be interested whether or not you can donate! If there is interest, we shall attempt to co-ordinate and advise. We understand players from the same era would want to attend together.

In addition, it is hoped to host other social events like a band evening or quiz night (again, details on the Club’s Facebook page). Badminton would be available during the day. Come along, meet up with former team mates and enter a quiz team?


Left: beyond and above self-help, the players, parents and leaders have often been involved in fund raising for other causes. For example, in 2015 and 2016, the Club raised over £3300 at Sainsbury’s in Darlington for their Comic Relief and Sport Relief appeals.