1970s Our story began with a dozen or so players meeting socially at the old Rapid Creek Primary School. Players had to contend with cross breezes in the open sided hall and the shuttle hitting the roof.
1981 Players moved to the Nightcliff Community Centre. This was an indoor venue with room for four courts although low ceiling height was still a frustration. It was from here that badminton began to grow in popularity with weekly competitions and even local TV coverage.
1982 The Northern Territory Badminton Association (NTBA) was incorporated. The Minister for Sport, Nick Dondas offered the large hall which was Department of Health’s former storage facility at Fannie Bay to badminton and gymnastics. Initially NTBA had one half of the hall and Gymnastics had the other half. The whole complex which included several other community groups was renamed Sports House.
1984 The Gymnastics Association was successful in getting a facility at the new Marrara Sporting Complex and this enabled NT Badminton to get enough space for five courts in the Sports House hall
A badminton base at Sports House was instrumental in badminton’s growth over subsequent years.
Sports House was flagged by the Northern Territory Government for relocation to Marrara in 1998 as part of their plans to centralize sporting facilities. Unfortunately, this never happened as this was also the year of the Katherine flood disaster and funding for major capital works was diverted towards flood relief.
Badminton continued to grow at Sports House. By 2002 social and competition badminton was being played 4 times per week and junior, social and competition badminton commenced on weekends.
December 2007 NTBA affiliated with the Palmerston YMCA Badminton Club with the potential of accessing up to 8 badminton courts at Palmerston Recreation Centre. However with the population growth and increased demand for other sports using this facility badminton was limited to Tuesday nights.
2008 – 2009 Department of Sport & Recreation staff twice asked NTBA to provide specifications for a new facility at another location. Discussions at the time suggested that NT government was looking to de-commission Sports House and implied that it would provide a replacement venue when the time arose.
2012 The 5 courts at Sports House were only just meeting demand, being used 5 nights a week and with at least five other day time sessions per week. NTBA asked Department of Sport and Recreation if we could increase the playing area at Sports House by laying 2 new courts in the adjacent storage area. There was no response to this request.
2013 The player numbers had reached the point that the 5 courts at Fannie Bay were being used by the various playing groups seven days a week.
May 2013 Without warning, NTBA was served with a notice from the Department of Sport & Recreation to vacate Sports house within six months and make its own arrangements for a new venue.
Despite the very short time-frame given to vacate Sports House and find a new home we quickly sprung into action.
We consulted widely with various government departments, schools, other sporting groups and venues, representatives from the Construction and Housing industries, Engineers, Quantity surveyors, Architects and Media consultants.
September 2013 We submitted a detailed proposal for a shared multipurpose hall at Marrara Sports Precinct. Unfortunately this proposal was not considered a priority by the government.
November 2013 Facing decimation we launched the Save Our Sport media campaign.
December 2013 We received huge public support and media coverage and collected a record-breaking public petition of 11, 500 signatures in support of a new badminton venue at Marrara. The future of NT badminton was debated in parliament for more than 2 hours.
February 2014 We successfully brokered a deal with the government for an interim badminton facility. NT Government agreed to take on a five year commercial lease of an industrial shed in Winnellie. NT Badminton Association agreed to contribute 15% toward the lease costs.
November 2014 We moved into 21 Albatross St Winnellie and set up five courts, with room for one more.
February 2015 We celebrated our Official Opening.
June 2015 The sixth court is laid.
We will continue to lobby for a permanent home for badminton.