Badminton in Rockchapel

Having procured a fine Community Centre in Rockchapel in 1983, a few people who had previously played badminton came together and formed a club. This was a great novelty at the beginning as most people in the parish had never seen the game played. However, before long about twenty adults played the game socially two nights per week. A juvenile club was also formed and they were taught the basics of the game by Timmy Twomey every Friday evening from 6 to 9pm.

This provided a great diversion for students who had spent the week studying. At that time badminton became a very popular winter game in Co. Cork. Most towns and villages had active clubs.

After a few years, teams were formed and entered in both North Cork leagues and championships. While competition was keen between the various teams, great friendships were made as “home and away” fixtures took place every couple of weeks during the winter months.

In the late 1980’s our first success came when our adult team won The North Cork Shield. The juveniles were also doing very well. Marguerite O Carroll won the County under 12 ladies and partnered by Elber Twomey they won the ladies doubles. They later won under 14 and under 16 County Championships the following years.

The Murphy family became very talented players. John Francis and Noreen won individual County medals. Their younger sister the late Patricia was an exceptionally talented player, she won County and Munster under 14, under 16 and under 18 tiles. She also played on the Irish under 14 team.

Some of those juveniles went on to play on the adult teams and the major success of the club was in 1992-1993 when the Division 4 team won the Cork County league and championship. They continued on to win the Munster and All-Ireland titles at this level, which was a fantastic achievement. The same year, the Division 5 team won the North Cork league, Hosford cup and North Cork shield. The following year the Division 4 team were upgraded to Division 3 and won the Cork County league and championship.

Success continued but to a much lesser degree during the 1990’s. The Hosford cup was again won in 1999. In the beginning of this century other talented young players came to the fore. Bríd Stack and Gobnait Murphy played for the county team. Other talented players who represented Rockchapel include Gillian and Breda Murphy, Norma and Elber Twomey, Nora Mary Curtin, Noreen B and Martina Murphy, Ann Keogh, Gabrielle Quinlan, Liam Murphy, Martin Casey, Neily Curtin, Geoffrey Collins, Timmy and Tomás Twomey, John T. Murphy, John B. Murphy, John Cronin and Brian Daly.

Social badminton continued to be played up to a few years ago but the Community Centre is now awaiting a new group which will restart the club.