Badminton is not the only thing that has been played in the badminton court. Previously the court served as the scene for handball in Elsinore, and national team players like Mogens Cramer, Per Svendsen and Per Theilmann has played games in the court.
The tennis fields and the badminton court were constructed on a part of Marienlyst’s old grounds, which Elsinore municipality sold when Marienlyst was bought in 1851, but which was later bought back to Elsinore. The badminton court was built in 1935 for Helsingør Tennisklub (Elsinor tennis club), and it functioned as a court for both tennis and handball.
Especially the handball games became something of a draw. In the 1950s Helsingør IF won numerous medals, and Helsingør FC was becoming a serious competitor. The 2nd of March 1958 the badminton court hosted HFC’s qualification match for 1. division against Aarhus Fremad.
The court was filled to the brim with 700 spectators, who saw HFC defeat Aarhus Fremad with a score of 19-11, and promotion to 1. division was a reality. Handball was played in the hall all the way to 1967, where Helsingør Hallen at Gl. Hellebækvej was inaugurated as replacement court.
Denmark’s first handball match in Elsinore
Ordinarily, teacher and lieutenant-colonel Holger Nielsen, from Ordrup by Copenhagen, is attributed as the creator of handball. But in Nyborg, Rasmus Nicolaj Ernst was also practising the game. Ernst moved to Elsinore and was hired by Helsingør Højere Almenskole (Elsinore elementary, now known as Skolen ved Kongevejen).
The two handball pioneers challenged each other, and the two schools met for the first registered handball match, which took place 1907 in Elsinore. The match demonstrated that there were yet no clarity about the correct rules. Rasmus Nicolaj Ernst wrote of the match in his diary: ”In 1907 the school received a challenge from Ordrup to a match of handball… Holger Nielsen, Ordrup, had some rules that we here at the school did not know. We played by rules which I had made in Nyborg in 1897-98. The Elsinore team suffered a terrible defeat, losing 21-0”.
The Badminton Court was built in 1935, and its architectural design is based off the funkis-style, which was customary at the time of its construction. Since then it has been furnished with extensions and received new insulation, which hides some of its original half-circular shape.
The badminton court is part of the sports areas that previous mayor Peder Christensen had constructed, keeping in mind the so-called 8x8x8-model: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of free time and 8 hours of rest. The model posed great demands on the public leisure areas, and the result of the intensive planning can still be seen in the large landscaping on the north coast from Kronborg to Højstrup. The badminton court is a part of this great area, which also include a swimming stadium by the ”Rubber beach”, a pleasure boat harbour, a football stadium, an archery field and a camping ground. At Sommariva, a restaurant for eating and dancing was constructed opposite of the public beach. In the centre of the 8x8x8 model area Hotel Marienlyst stands proud.