Player Profile: Mark Bellamy

THE SERIOUS STUFF:

How long have you been playing badminton?

I have been playing since I was 15-years-old, so about 30 years now.

How long have you been a member of Farsley Celtic Badminton Club?

Around 20 years now.

What appeals to you most about the game?

Being able to have a good run around in a friendly environment.

What do you enjoy most about the club nights?

Being able to play with lots of different ability players and not having to organise court times or people to play with – you just turn up and enjoy yourself.

What’s your favourite badminton shot?

Any type of net shot.

How different is competitive badminton to club night badminton?

You have to score the games, you are generally on the court more often and the games are much more serious, which makes you more competitive and wanting to win is more important.

What has been your competitive highlight so far?

I once took a game off an ex-England player at doubles – but we still lost 2-1.

Where would you like to see your game in two years’ time?

As long as I’m still playing I will be happy.

How much does badminton contribute to your overall fitness?

It is around a third, as I have a manual job and also enjoy cycling and squash.

How competitive are you? Do you want to win every game?

It’s great to win, especially when it’s a really close match and you just edge it out.

Which player or players do you admire most at the club, and why?

There are several – Derek as he can play both left or right handed, Palfs due to his total commitment to our club and badminton in general and, finally, Charles who is still playing to a very good standard at the age of 83 as well as possessing the best drop shot in the league!
 

FANTASY BADMINTON:

So, what’s your court entry theme tune when you get to the Olympics?

‘Everybody Wants to Rule World’, Tears for Fears.

Who would play you in the badminton movie of your life – any why?

George Clooney – he is the one who looks most like me.

Who is your club Nemesis? What is it about their game that you find difficult?

Paul. I can never seem to beat him at singles and he also has the best return of serve at our club, where he attacks fast and pushes it straight down the middle.

What part of Palfs’ game do you admire the most?

The way he walks onto court excited about playing – oh, and his backhand cross court drop shot.

If you could invent a rule change (however fantastical), what would it be?

If it got to sudden death you had to serve with your opposite hand.
 

AWAY FROM THE BADMINTON COURT:

Do you participate in other sports? If yes, which ones?

Yes, I enjoy squash, cycling, skiing and walking.

What’s your ideal post-badminton drink?

Any real ale. When we play at Spartans in Headingley, Woodie’s pub is a great place to achieve this!

How do you think the club could be improved?

It is run really well with dedicated people. I think it’s nice to see everyone wearing matching shirts in competitions, which has been a recent addition. More players are always an improvement and, if finances were not an issue, lots of new feathers for club nights would be welcome.

If you could choose anything, what would be your ideal social event with the club?

The last social night I attended was great. Ten pin bowling followed by a few pints and a meal.

How do you wind down after a club night?

It’s usually home for a cup of tea, but after a match, it’s a pint then, when back home, I generally end up getting into some WhatsApp banter with our mixed team captain Ian. It’s always a good laugh taking the Mickey out of each other.