History of Wascana Badminton Club, Regina - Est. 1930

References to the original Wascana Badminton Club date back at least as far as 1910.

* 1910: "Clubs and Societies, City of Regina." Pamphlets
and Clippings.

The City of Regina:
Pamplet and Clippings. 1910. Saskatchewan Archives, Regina, R962 Contains material from: the Regina Boat Club; Wascana Winter Club; Wascana Badminton Club; YMCA.] 1918: Club Activities: Badminton, Curling, Skating." Wascana Winter Club. 1918. Saskatchewan Archives, Regina, Coll. Contains reports, correspondence etc. pertaining to the badminton, curling and skating club of the Wascana Winter Club.

DID YOU KNOW...
Tokens were issued for the birds, value 25 Cents. 100 tokens were minted in 1931 and were used until 1935. Front states 'Wascana Winter Club'. Back states 'One Token.' 23mm octagonal aluminum token.

James Cuthbert

From the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame:

James Cuthbert

» Dominated the sport of badminton in Regina 1936-50
» Won seven straight triple crowns, men's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles championships at the Regina District and Wascana Winter Club tournaments
» Won all three events in 1948 with partners Art Booth and Lois Wahn
» In 1949, Cuthbert extended his doubles victories to nine straight by winning men's and mixed championships with Denny Nicol and Pat Heisler
» In 1933, he teamed with Harold Johnston to win Sask. men's doubles championship
» Member of the Carmichael Badminton Club, then the Wascana Winter Club.

Did you know?

The flight of the shuttlecock, a missile of cork and goose feather has been recorded at speeds in excess 260 kilometres per hour. Speed, agility and lightning-fast reflexes are essential to the game. Add stamina too - players have been known to cover more than six kilometres in a single match.
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GREAT FUN!
GREATER EXERCISE!

Depending on your weight and exertion level you'll burn 100-200 extra calories in a half-hour session. Extra calories are those you burn on top of the calories you use for basic day-to-day living. Inputting your exercise into your exercise diary will calculate the number of calories you will burn, based on your weight.
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The greatest badminton player is Judy Devlin Hashman (from Manitoba, Canada) who won more than 50 major championships from 1954 to 1967, including 12 U.S. National Titles and 10 All-England Titles.

Above: Wascana Winter Club served as the HMCS Queen during World War II.

The Wascana Winter Club

From the Saskatchewan Archives:

In 1928, a group of citizens in Regina, Saskatchewan decided to organize a club with facilities for playing badminton. Shares were sold to raise funds for the construction of a four-court badminton club, located at the corner of Albert Street and 19th Avenue.

The Wascana Badminton Club began operating in January, 1930.

In 1934, the executive of the Wascana Badminton Club decided to add a figure skating rink to its existing facility. They approached the Regina Figure Skating Club, which operated out of Exhibition Stadium, with a proposal to amalgamate. An agreement was made between the two clubs and construction began on the new rink.

On October 1, 1934, the Wascana Badminton Club became known as the Wascana Winter Club.

In 1941, the clubhouse was taken over by the Department of National Defence and became a recruiting and training centre for the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. The facility was turned back to the Wascana Winter Club after the war.

A curling rink was added to the facility in 1949. In March, 1974 the roof of the skating and curling section of the building collapsed under heavy snow.

The Wascana Winter Club thereafter ceased to operate and was struck off the corporate registry in Saskatchewan on September 15, 1976. The remaining section of the building, used for badminton, was destroyed by fire on May 4, 1977.

The Wascana Winter Club provided its members with skating, badminton and curling facilities, which were open to men, women and children. The Club hosted annual skating carnivals and tournaments and employed skating professionals to give lessons. The Club held memberships in the Canadian Figure Skating Association and the Saskatchewan Badminton Association. The organization was governed by an executive, including a president and secretary-manager; directors; and various committees.

Custodial history: Del Ludvigsen, manager of the Wascana Winter Club, donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives in one accession in 1973: 1216 (Photo R) (August, 1973). N.L. Sterritt donated some of these records to the Regina office, Saskatchewan Archives, in one accession in 1994: R94-161 (April 20, 1994). http://sain.scaa.sk.ca/

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From the Regina Leader Post - May, 1955:

In 1929 a group of badminton players who had been playing in various halls and gymnasiums throughout Regina, under great disadvantages, both as to time allowed and space available, decided to see what could be done about forming a large badminton club and building their own clubhouse.

With the active help of a group of public-spirited business and professional men, who agreed to standing behind the project, financially and otherwise, in January of 1930, the Wascana Badminton Club was organized with a membership of 250 and a clubhouse was erected.

When the club opened in 1930, only four courts were available, but as badminton had by this time, become immensely popular, it was found necessary, in 1932, to add two more courts, making it six in all.

Early in the history of the club the services of a professional were obtained and for several years Guy Reed divided his time between the Wascana Badminton Club and the Moose Jaw Badminton Club.

While not as many took advantage of his training as had been hoped, he was very generous with his playing time and left his mark on many of the players, some of whom are still active.

In 1934, the Regina Skating Club amalgamated with the Wascana Badminton Club under the name of the Wascana Winter Club.

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In 1934 it was decided to build a figure skating club and negotiations were opened with Skate Regina which had been operating at the Stadium resulting in the amalgamating the two clubs. The name was changed from the Wascana Badminton Club to Wascana Winter Club. The club made steady progress and tremendous improvements were noticed in the quality of both the badminton and the skating.

Archives Board File 25 R-962

Sometime in the late 60s, there was a period of hybernation as yet unexplained. The Wascana Badminton Club, was revived in the spring of 1974 and registered under the Societies Act in 1977.

Its function was to continue to use the remaining badminton portion of the Wascana Winter Club - following the building collapse of the skating and curling portions - for the promotion of the sport in the City of Regina.

Following the loss of the badminton portion of the old Winter Club building to fire on May 4, 1977, the club has continued operation through use of the city's school gymnasiums.

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Executive

Ron Collins served as president of the club from 2000 to 2008.

He handed the reins to Peter Yu who continued to manage the club's evolution until June 2019.

Michelle Williams is the current club president and administrator.

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If you have information regarding the history of the club or its operation, we welcome your assistance.

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The Wascana Badminton Club began in 1930, but became the Wascana Winter Club in 1934 to better describe its position of the new home of the Regina Speed Skating Club. The clubhouse was on Albert Street near the Albert Memorial Bridge.

After a stint serving as the HMCS Queen during World War II, the club went back to being a hub of winter activities, housing a number of professional skaters, incuding Dick Salter, Barry Green and Joan and Margie Penfold.

The roof of the curling and skating section of the club collapsed in March 1974. This image shows the aftermath of the roof collapse, which was caused by exceptionally heavy snow that winter.

The Ancient History of Badminton

Before Iran and Iraq were countries, the area was known as Babylonia. And this is where the game of badminton began. Although it technically wasn't a game for them. It was more like hocus-pocus fortune telling. The Babylonians were big on this sort of stuff, and would go to a priest (for a fee of course) to get their future told. The priest would do it in several ways: Dice, Cards, Tea Leaves, Bones, Dreams, and a few other gross ways I won't go into.

But, another technique that the so-called future predicting priest used to foresee a person's future was a ceremony rather than a one-on-one personal reading.  A crowd would form. Incense was lit. Drums were banged. Magical chants were sung. You in the mood yet? Should be. Out comes the priest, with two participants each holding a wooden paddle. Then the priest called for silence! A hush came over the crowd, and the two people with the paddles then batted a ball made of tightly wound wool yarn back and forth. The length of time they kept the ball in play was suppose to reveal how long they would live.

Well, this worked for a while until the people finally caught on that they were not really discovering their future because in reality they really had control over it by keeping the ball in the air as long as they wanted and so they are the ones that really had influence over their futures, not the priests.

But the idea of it all was fun.  People loved to play and watch. So over the years the fortune-telling part of it dissolved away and people just batted this yarn-made ball back and forth for the sport of it.  From Babylonia, this game spread to different places, one of which was Poona, India. And the name of the game was Poona, after the town of its popularity.

In the 16th century English sailors, explorers, merchants visited India and it's there they learned the game and brought it back to England. Soon the English replaced the wooden paddle with a racket. At first the racket didn't have strings as we know today. Instead it was a wooden frame with leather in the center. Later it had leather strings stretched over the frame. And instead of the wooly ball, the English used a piece of cork into which feathers had been stuck. At first these feathers stuck straight out. But the players soon discovered that a fan-shaped arrangement on these feathers made for a better "bird-like" flight.

Because the game went back and forth, the term "shuttle" evolved when referring to it. Also, the feathers used were partly made of rooster or "cock" feathers so when blending the two words the English then called the game "Shuttlecock."

Kids liked to play this game especially on a Christian holiday known as Shrove Tuesday, where being happy and having a gay ol' time was the theme.  The sport grew so popular in some English towns that they created "Shuttlecock Day." People would crowd into the streets of all ages and batted their feather corks back and forth through the air.

In 1870 an Englishman named the Duke of Beaufort (a real sports fanatic) loved Shuttlecock and decided to throw a weekend party at his home, well mansion actually, called "Badminton House."  All the guests played (women, men, kids) and love it.  This increased the game's popularity a lot in England and people started calling it the "Badminton game" after the name of the mansion where the party was held where they played it.

By 1939, badminton had become popular worldwide. Sir George Thomas decided that it was time that this sport have an international competition. And like in other sports, a trophy was needed. But due to World War II, Sir Thomas's idea was put on hold. Then in 1948 the first world badminton championship matches were held. The winning team was from Malaya. They beat Denmark 8 to 1. The Malayans are the first to capture the first world badminton title and walked off with the trophy aptly named "The Thomas Cup" after Sir George Thomas who came up with the idea.

The Bath Badminton Club was organized in 1877 and developed the first written rules, which for the most part are still the ones used today. In 1893, the Badminton Association of England was founded. The Badminton Club of New York was founded in 1878, but it was more a social club. The Badminton Club of Boston was founded in 1908 and had 300 members by 1925. But badminton wasn't really publically popular in the United States until the 1930's. In 1935 the American Badminton Association was founded and it had its first national championship on April 1 (April Fools Day) in 1937.

Badminton has struggled to become part of the summer olympics for years. It did a sports demonstration at the 1972 Summer Olympics.  And Badminton was finally added to the Olympic program in 1992 with singles, doubles competitions for men and women.  Then in 1996, they added the mixed doubles competition.  Badminton later became a Pan-American sport in 1995.  And in 1989 the U.S. Badminton Association became a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

According to a recent study about 1 million Americans play badminton now recreationally every year. However, in the 1980's it became a professional sport when the International Badminton Federation established the World Grand Prix Circuit offering prizes from $200,000 to the Grand Prix Finals of $350,000.

Recently badminton has become more popular in the Asian countries and some of the better players are now from Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Korea, Japan and from some Scandinavian countries as well.

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