Badminton club eager to move into new facility

Frank Gale
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Wallace Rowsell, a member of the Stephenville Badminton Club, is looking forward to moving into a new facility.

STEPHENVILLE  Wallace Rowsell is looking forward to the day when members of the Stephenville Badminton Club can return to the former West Coast Training Centre.

Rowsell is hoping that’s sooner rather than later, and Mayor Tom O’Brien is also hoping for an end-of-January opening of the new Humber Community YMCA, which is slated to move into the building.

Members of the badminton club are practicing and playing at the Stephenville Middle School right now, but Rowsell said the larger gym is ideal for their needs.

“It would be nice to get back into that building as it’s like no other and, in our minds, one of the better gyms across the island,” he said.

The facility was built back in the days when the Ernest Harmon Air Force Base was still in operation. Christine Young, chief executive officer with the Humber Community YMCA, said the organization’s personnel love the building and said it has “good bones.”

Rowsell said he hasn’t been in the building since back in November when the first stages of renovations began, so he’s getting excited to see what it looks like with the improvements.

From preliminary discussions with the YMCA personnel, it was his understanding that members of the badminton club will have to enroll individually as members of the YMCA and not on a club basis. Rowsell also understood from discussions that the organization would need a membership of about 400 to make it viable, so he hopes they will be able to get those numbers.

He believes with the other programs offered by the YMCA, the club will be attractive to people.

“I’m hoping it will be successful because if the Y doesn’t work out I don’t think there would be any other avenue for operation of that building,” he said. “This is going to be as good as it gets.”

He said it’s possible the YMCA has programs to help top up the fees for those who can’t afford to pay the full price.

Organizations: YMCA, Stephenville Badminton Club, Stephenville Middle School Ernest Harmon Air Force Base

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