Why are we fundraising?
As the Development Manager for Hampshire Badminton, it is my role to ensure that people of all ages and all walks of life are able to enjoy this wonderful sport. But I also have a responsibility to ensure our planet isn't going to suffer as a result.
This is a challenge our members and I are determined to overcome.
What do I mean by this?
Westgate Badminton Centre was first opened in 2001. As a purpose built and dedicated badminton facility, Westgate Badminton Centre is recognised as one of the best facilities of its kind in the country. However, in 2001 there was little thought given to the environmental sustainability of buildings such as ours.
Architectural features such as wooden floors and 12 metre-high ceilings do little to curb the effects of heat loss and air circulation during much of the year. Being a natural material, wood requires a lot of maintenance in order to increase its lifespan and avoid needlessly replacing with more natural products. Furthermore, such a large space requires a lot of lighting. The current lighting is the original halogen type where 300w bulbs burn for over 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, 50 weeks per year. At any one given moment, 180 300w bulbs are lighting our courts at a staggering rate of 54kWh. In just one day, we use enough energy to power one 3-bedroom house for three months!
What are we hoping to achieve with this additional funding?
Our renovation project is aiming to tackle two key areas of urgent need:
1. Installation of new LED lights above the badminton courts in order to cut our carbon footprint significantly,
2. Urgent repairs to the wooden sprung flooring to avoid the need to replace the entire floor in the longer term.
Westgate Badminton Centre's halogen lights burn (a little too) brightly!
Why can't we simply raise the funds ourselves?
Due to the impact that COVID-19 has had on us all, we, like so many sports providers up and down the country, have seen a vast amount of our revenue slashed. Being a not-for-profit organisation, we are not able to build-up sufficient reserves in order to get us through times such as these. Suffice to say we have seen about 80% of our revenue lost this year through the persistent closures caused throughout the pandemic. However, such is our determination to make our facility more environmentally friendly, we are seeking support from you to allow us reach our goal.
Who will benefit from this?
1. Our planet (of course!). Reducing Westgate's electric consumption by 90% would be the equivalent of powering 35 UK homes for one whole year!
2. Our forests. Repairing existing wooden flooring is much more environmentally friendly than completely replacing it.
3. Our players and their children. These players will be the first generation to experience the full effects of global warming.
Why is the future of Westgate Badminton Centre so important?
We provide top-class training to a number of national and international level players. Back in September 2020, Westgate was one of the first facilities to open its doors to allow training to take place for our junior and senior players. See below for BBC South Today feature:
It is vital that Westgate Badminton Centre continues to provide this high level of badminton training for players of all ages if we are to see Team GB gaining any success on the badminton court in the future.
What does it mean to our players?
“The Westgate Badminton Centre is a stunning facility with a neat, clean and comfortable lounge. The courts are beautiful with quality equipment and an amazing viewing gallery. We love to meet friends here and play badminton together. The managers are friendly and very accommodating”.
“I get very good coaching at the Westgate Badminton Centre and it’s so much fun to play with other people”.
How much money do we need to raise?
To install LED lighting over all five badminton courts and to carry out the urgent repairs to the flooring, we are needing to raise approximately £30,000 in total. However, we have been successful in securing some funding from Sport England who generously awarded Westgate Badminton Centre £5,155 in April 2021.
Our aim through Crowd-Funding is to reach at least £15,000.