FBC Olympics 2013 – Victoria Park

Event Organiser

The Olympic Beacon

On Saturday 17 August 2013, an array of honed athletes from distant lands gathered at Victoria Park, drawn together by the unmistakable glow of the Olympic Beacon, the luminous green short shorts.

The Games were contested by the mighty nations of Trinidad & Tobago, Monaco, and Oz, and crowds soon gathered to watch battle commence. Some may say that the ‘crowds’ were limited to a solitary seven year old girl and her dog, with the girl sufficiently underwhelmed as a spectator that she laid down an open challenge in the skipping rope event.

The competing nations humoured her with a guest appearance, only for the girl to sweep aside several seasoned contenders at a canter. It was quietly agreed that this shall not be spoken of again, or, if it is, that the outcome shall be put down to the combined effects of an uneven running track, faulty skipping ropes, and brazen witchcraft.


A small child about to gleefully kick your arse

The skipping rope race was one of a handful of new events, including arm-wrestling and the shot put, as the organisers sought to liven things up and find creative new ways to injure and disable the athletes. These attempts can be considered a partial success given Dan’s skipping rope wipeout and the time it took others to recover from the bouts arm-wrestling (rumoured to run into days), but it was old favourites which provided the most spectacular tumbles. Special mention here to the 100 metres (Tina and James), the piggyback race (Mike and Joyce), and the egg and spoon race (every single one of the eggs).

Other special awards this year were as follows:

  • Best prepared competitor – Laura (studded boots)
  • Most dysfunctional team photo – Conor and Vicky (three-legged race)
  • Technique with most unfortunate similarity to a fascist salute – John (target bean bag)
  • Most refined and elegant posture – Bev (egg and spoon)
  • Best fashion trendsetters – Tristan (shorts) and Vicky (matching picnic blanket and trousers)
  • Most laidback competitor – Rachel “I’d rather have a Pimms thank you” Denholm
  • Star competitors – Conor, Dan and Vicky

DSC_0057John throwing beanbagBev preparing for egg and spoonRachel with Pimms

Whilst these individual moments of triumph should rightly be savoured, the Games were a team event first and foremost, with the winning team to be decided on the number of golds secured. The competition had been neck-and-neck throughout until rain intervened in the mid-afternoon, preventing the last events from being played out. The teams were reluctantly forced into the sanctuary of a nearby pub which, recognising athletic greatness, generously laid on free food while the finely balanced results were totted up using the number of drinks consumed as some kind of abacus.

The final results table showers team Oz in Olympic glory, having narrowly pipped team Monaco into second on Silvers, with Trinidad and Tobago finishing in third:

Monaco “Land of Dreams” – 7 Golds (Arm Wrestling X2, Sack Race, Wheelbarrow, Tug of War, Skipping Rope Race, Piggyback Race), 5 Silvers, 5 Bronze
Oz – 7 Golds (Backward 50mX2, Sack Race, Three-legged race, Skipping Rope Race, 100m, Shot Put), 7 Silvers, 7 Bronze
Trinidad & Tobago – 5 Golds (Egg & Spoon, Leapfrog, Target Bean Bag, 100m, Shot Put) 7 Silvers, 7 Bronze

Well done to all teams, and finally I leave you with this:


Would sir care for dessert?

Blog post courtesy of Mark Ellis

FBC Olympics 2012 – Hampstead Heath

On a sleepy Sunday afternoon in the middle of Hampstead Heath, 18 members of Finsbury Badminton Club startled onlookers with a sustained display of athleticism that will surely be hailed in the press as the event that eclipsed the so-called “Olympics”.

Egg & Spoon. The Wheelbarrow. Tug. Of. War. Events that strike fear into even the most seasoned of competitors. These were to be no holds barred clashes, evoked by names that, after all, include such brutal, hard-hitting words as “War”. And “Spoon”. The Target Bean Bag Event was, admittedly, less intimidating, but much trickier than it looked. Especially with the wind, and the slope, and that dog that snuck in to slobber all over the beanbags.

Captain Redbeard’s powers of levitation were a significant advantage

The brave 18 came to represent their four chosen nations. These were Team GB, Liechtenstein, Vatican City, and Tuvalu, naturally. In between the necessary bouts of dog-wrangling (to protect food supplies) these renowned athletic nations squared off in a range of events from the 100m sprint, to the piggyback race, to the standing jump, and
the competition was intense from the off – so intense, in fact, that some athletes took advantage of brazen false starts, whilst others resorted to distraction, in one instance a competitor apparently “forgetting” their belt and dropping their trousers.There were many highlights throughout the events, but the following list of ad-hoc awards recognises a few of the most memorable moments (in no particular order):

  • Most Spectacular Wipeout: Jamie (50m backwards sprint)
  • Most Tender Embrace: Mark W & Pete (three-legged race)
  • Biggest Air-Time: Tina & Rowena (tug of war)
  • Most Unorthodox Technique: Anita (wheelbarrow race)
  • Best Multiple Wipeout: Laura & Rachel (three-legged race)
  • Best T-Rex Impression: Pete (string & block race)
  • Best Teeth-Gritting: Wlad (tug of war)
  • Most Painful Injuries: Juliana (blisters) & Jamie (shoulder/back) & Wlad (groin)
  • Best Face Plant: Jun Li (sack race)
  • Most Exciting Finish: Rachel & Juliana (string & block race)

The fierce competition was not without cost, and injury ultimately reduced the island nation of Tuvalu to just two functioning members, who nevertheless fought on and bravely battled their way into last place. In the final standings, it was team Liechtenstein who emerged victorious, their ruthless quartet made up of Mike, Conor, Juliane and Jun Li.

Gracious in defeat, the other nations applauded their victory, cursed them under their breath, and plotted revenge via the hard graft of egg & spoon training camp.

Annual Christmas Tournament and Partay!

Mixed MatchEarlier this month, 36 eager badminton fanatics descended upon Finsbury leisure centre at 10am for the 8 hour badminton marathon that is the annual Finsbury Badminton Club tournament.  Armed with badminton rackets, vast quantities of food, Conor’s amazing computer programme and a kettle, players across both sections of the club battled it out over 6 rounds of mixed and ladies’/men’s doubles.  Emerging at the top of the Swiss ladder were:

Conor and his amazing computer programme
Conor and his amazing computer programme

Mixed: Anita and Dan
Ladies: Anita and Juliane
Men: Christian and Mark E

The day did not end at the badminton however, as the gang moved on to the Grand Union bar for the Christmas party.  After a few drinks, some pizza, burgers and a quiz (did we ever  find out who won??) , we gave out the second most important set of prizes for the day:  the Shabby Shuttlecocks awards.  In the run up to the tournament, members have been voting for who they think is the Best Dressed player, Nicest smelling, most likely to hit you with a shuttlecock and the person with the best facial hair (to name but a few awards!).  We also celebrated Pete’s birthday by honouring him with a lifetime achievement award and a more traditional birthday gift of cake.

FBC at the party

Pete and His Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday Pete!

Soon after that, we somehow ended up playing a battle of the sexes game of “picking up a cardboard box off the floor using only your teeth”, limbo and also a dance-off.  Perhaps the less said about this part of the day the better.  For photographic evidence, please ask Jamie, who has enough material to blackmail all of us approximately 10 times over (especially Billy and Steve).

Congratulations to the various winners and well done to everyone who took part in such a fun, well organised and thankfully injury-free day!

Happy, tipsy FBC members

Fun and Games with Captain Redbeard

Earlier this week, Conor kindly invited us round for board games, pizza and homemade apple pie.  A bunch of us descended  on his flat, eagerly hoping to win the ultimate prize: badminton-related key rings, courtesy of Anita.  Our arena of battle: Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It.  For anyone unfamiliar with this latest reincarnation of Trivial Pursuit, it involves the chance to bet on whether your fellow contestants will get their answer right or wrong and then use your winnings to purchase cheeses.

This led to teams following a variety of strategies: John and Pete; who seemed to concentrate on amassing a huge amount of wealth rather than cheeses, Dan and Conor; who consistently underestimated the general ability of their competitors and bet against them, Tina; “Go big or go home!!!” (nuff said) and Mark and Jamie; our general knowledge boffins who followed a more “purist” strategy of actually answering their questions correctly, and were thus crowned champions of the evening.  Well done chaps, and many thanks to Conor for inviting us and Anita for providing the prizes (as well as our lovely new team t-shirts!)

Let’s get quizzical!

Some of FBC’s B section last night descended on The Eagle for their pub quiz.

Splitting into two teams we battled it out across an invisible net, armed with pints instead of rackets – ‘Never mind the shuttlecocks’ vs ‘Sun, sea, sand and shuttlecocks’. And a whole lot of other teams.

After the first half, both teams were doing pretty well, with all sorts of knowledge coming out of the woodwork. Then the second round started….with an anagram – an impossible anagram (of hatemonger) that caused unforeseen amounts of frantic scribbling and staring in steely determination at pieces of paper. The answer caused groans and protests pub-wide – it was thereamong. We still maintain that earthgnome and gnomeheart are equally acceptable as answers.

Frustrated Woman

The second half ended with both teams having decent scores, but ‘Never mind the shuttlecocks’ having a couple more points. In fact, having exactly the same number of points as two other teams….leading to a tie-break! Jamie was nominated to take part in the tie-break, so we were all hoping it was going to be a dance-off (I have genuinely seen this used as a tie-break in a pub quiz before) but it turned out to be a guess the year question.

Jamie came second, winning a bottle of wine for the team – good skills FBC! And big up to Tina for organising and reserving tables!

FBC at the All Nations Tournament

Two Finsbury Badminton Club members at All Nations

Tina & Justyna relaxing after a tough match

On one sunny saturday, a few of us from Finsbury Badminton Club headed up to the All Nations Tournament in Dalston for some match practice before the start of the new season.

Performance in the matches was somewhat mixed but a fun day was had by all!

Quotes of the day:

“My bum has a big red beard on it” – Billy downplaying his defeat to Conor

“Michael was very trying” – Justyna (possibly) praising her mixed doubles partner’s efforts.

On the downside no medals were won, but on the positive side we all got to the pub a little earlier 🙂

Well done to everyone from Finsbury taking part (listed below), and many thanks to Richard at All Nations Badminton Club for such a well run event!

Finsbury entrants (3 September 2011): Tina, Justyna, Jun Li, Laura W, Rowena, Conor, Mike, Mark, Billy, Niels and Kris.

Two more Finsbury Badminton Club members at the All Nations tournament

Conor, Mike and a very happy piece of toast



Summer Sessions

The season has just finished but here at Finsbury we keep on playing. We still have club nights over summer to make sure some of the lazy players keep fit.