NZ’s first racket sport museum
New Zealand’s first racket sports museum has opened in Auckland thanks to three former badminton champions.
Richard Purser, along with Jeff and Heather Robson, recently opened the Badminton Museum of New Zealand at the Auckland Badminton Hall at 99 Gillies Ave, Epsom, after four years of collecting and collating.
The Remuera residents noticed a gap in the racket relic market, and eventually came up with the idea when they were asked to clean out the New Zealand Badminton office in Hamilton.
‘‘It all sort of started from there,’’ Jeff Robson said.
‘‘We started to realise how valuable some of the relics were and they should never be lost.’’
Therein started the four year project which included hunting down items from all over the country and overseas.
‘‘Some of the things took quite a bit of time to find,’’ Jeff Robson said.
‘‘We knew what existed and what we wanted but it took a long time to get them.’’
One those items is a photograph of the first New Zealand badminton team to play Australia in 1938 - found in the archives of the Masterton council office.
Other relics include commemorative medals from every Commonwealth Games since badminton was introduced in 1966, as well as rackets from all of the major eras.