We had the good fortune of connecting with Guy Chadwick and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Guy, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have been the primary go-to person for Arizona badminton for more than 40 years, working with a fantastic group of badminton players originally from all over the world. It has been my dream for most of my adult life to establish a dedicated badminton facility to serve the greater badminton community. It is a life-time sport with a huge following in Asia and Europe, so having a badminton facility would provide a “living room” for all those who grew up playing badminton in other parts of the world– a connection to their home towns. It took 25 years, but in 2012, with the help of Cooper Fratt, a commercial broker with CBRE, we were finally able to locate a perfect space with the proper ceiling height (28 feet!) and overall dimensions that we could afford. Then, with a lot of volunteer labor and donations, we were able to build our perfect 4-court facility just for badminton– bright green walls, nets, benches, pro shop and lobby, all the amenities. It is one of the best places to play badminton in the USA!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Arizona Badminton Center is the only badminton-dedicated facility in Arizona! We have now been open for 9 years serving the badminton community in the Phoenix metro area and throughout the state. Our badminton history extends back to the 1950s with the origin of high school badminton at a few schools, and then the introduction of a scholarship badminton program for women at ASU in the 1960s. This put Arizona badminton on the map! In fact, the ASU men’s and women’s badminton teams of the 1970s through 1993 had many of the top adult players in the nation, multiple collegiate champions, and trained the first USA Olympic badminton players. Meanwhile, there has been more than 50 years of steady growth in the high school system and recreational play held largely at high school gyms and community centers in the evenings. However, these facilities are not very functional for good badminton play and the playing time was extremely limited. Badminton is one of the largest participation sports in the world, with a strong Olympic following particularly in the Asian and European nations. The USA has been gaining momentum, particularly with the establishment of dedicated badminton facilities along the west coast, and more recently throughout the nation. It is a fantastic, healthy family life-time sport… Great exercise for all levels and ages. And, an incredibly fast and athletic sport at the tournament level. In February 2012, after 25 years of searching, I was finally able to find a suitable warehouse location with the right dimensions for badminton! Pooling resources, we were able to build our courts, add the right lighting and A/C, and everything we needed to start full operations at our new dedicated facility. Only the Covid virus this year has slowed us down since. With the mandated state closures, we have only survived due to the sacrifices of our membership along with a grant from the City of Mesa Cares Act. In Arizona, the AZBC serves the high school badminton coaches and their teams (now more than 70 school programs) with training, Academies, materials and support, as well as offering open play for all ages 7 days a week, and tournaments 4-5 times per year, including the Arizona Badminton Championships.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Personally, my wife and I love the many lakes of Arizona. We have had date days (Thursdays) for years, and often go to a lake for the day, perhaps rent a small boat and go cruising and swimming. Another frequent option during the warmer weather is a day trip to Prescott where it is about 20 degrees cooler for hiking their hundreds of miles of trails with our Springer Spaniel, Keller.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The entire volunteer team at the Arizona Badminton Center