Tottenham Black Arrows (better known as Black Arrows) was founded whilst working at the Tottenham Sports Centre, N17 in 1984 by Henry T. Gaspard in order to provide the local community with the opportunity to play badminton socially and competitively.
The name Tottenham Black Arrows was chosen because it represented the make up of the club. Tottenham represented the locality from which most of the players originated. The ‘Black’ represented the ethnic origin of the majority of the players. The Arrows, represented the impact the club was hoping to make on the badminton world!
In 1987 Tottenham Black Arrows became one of the few predominantly Black Badminton Clubs in London to secure sponsorship from the commercial sector. The ‘Haringey Advertiser’ sponsored the club for a number of seasons.
In the club’s first four seasons of playing competetive badminton, they built a well recognised and respected reputation as being one of the ‘top clubs in the Middlesex County league’, winning numerous league titles.
In 1999 a merger took place between ‘Britannia Badminton Club’ and ‘Black Arrows Badminton club’ to form Britannia Black Arrows Badminton Club. Another success story was repeated which brought further league, cup and national success.
In May 2004, the merger between the two clubs was brought to an end in order to allow Black Arrows to remain true to the values and principles, which they have upheld since 1984.
The club’s main focus changed from senior Badminton development to Junior Badminton development in order to produce the players of the future.
Henry and the committee have worked hard at developing partnerships with a number of Schools, Colleges, Universities, Clubs, Local Authorities, and other organisations such as Badminton England, Greenwich Leisure Limited, University of East London, Arsenal Football Club and other in the development of Junior and senior Badminton.
In order to manage the delivery of this expanding programme, Black Arrows have invested in encouraging volunteers to become qualified Level 1 coaches, which the Club has 14, and then Level 2 coaches. The Club now has 14 qualified Level 2 coaches who deliver on average 30 coached sessions per week, which includes sessions to primary and secondary schools, Colleges, Universities, Clubs, a disability session as well as a 50+ session. In an average week around 450 participants are taking part in Black Arrows delivered sessions.
The Club is also part of the Badminton England “Community Badminton Networks” (CBN), in the London Borough of Newham and Islington. The CBN consists of a number of partners from Education, Community, Sports, Leisure and others who are involved in the development of Badminton opportunities across their borough. Black Arrows plays an active delivery role in both boroughs.
My aim is, as it was then:
- To increase the number of junior and senior players participating in badminton
- To achieve success and respect through playing & coaching
- To continue to provide a meeting place where people can meet and play socially and competitively in a friendly environment without feeling isolated