Badminton: European champion Steve Parry bemoans Adwick changes

Steve Parry in action at the European Seniors Championships
Steve Parry in action at the European Seniors Championships
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Doncaster’s Steve Parry is one of the most familiar faces on the Inter-County badminton scene.

The 51-year-old has more than 150 Yorkshire caps to his name and looks set to add to his tally, particularly after winning the European Seniors Championships in Ireland.

Not that he is ever likely to challenge the number won by his partner of 19 years, Nichola Smith.

“She has won around 220 Yorkshire caps, more than anyone else in the county’s history,” said Steve.

Both play in the Yorkshire third team, though not as a pairing.

“She says that I make her feel nervous,” said Steve, known for his will-to-win attitude on court.

The team has enjoyed a successful season in Division Two of the National Inter-County League and only Lancashire’s second string can deny them the title.

Steve has also helped steer Yorkshire Over-50s to the National Vets’ finals at Lilleshall later this month, where the four regional winners will play off.

Like other seasoned campaigners, Steve is ‘dumbfounded’ by development plans at Adwick Leisure Centre which will spell the end of badminton.

“Pilks have played there on a Monday since it opened in the 1970s and nobody has told us what is happening,” claimed Steve.

“The first I knew about it was when I read it in the paper.

“It will be a big blow to the sport in Doncaster because it’s easily the best venue in the town in terms of height, the surroundings and the lighting.”

Despite the quality of the facility, Doncaster play their home matches in the Yorkshire Inter-Town League Division One in Hull.

“Most games at representative level are played on a Gerflor court,” said Steve.

“It’s a lot better for your knees and ankles than playing on a hard court.

“There are no courts in Doncaster and the nearest ones are at Sheffield, where they are always booked, and Hull.

“Because I play in the Hull League I’m able to book the courts.”

In addition to his representative duties, Steve also turns out for teams in both the Sheffield and Nottingham leagues plus newly-crowned Doncaster League champions Pilkington.

“Sadly, it’s not as competitive as used to be the case,” he said.