With just over six months to go before the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 comes to Glasgow, BADMINTONscotland are already determined to introduce 30,000 schoolchildren to the sport as part of the World Championship Legacy Programme.
But the challenge doesn’t stop with the youngsters. BADMINTONscotland has just launched Smash In2 Badminton (SI2B), a new national participation programme giving people of all ages the opportunity to play badminton in a relaxed and fun environment. Sessions will be pay and play with an organiser or coach on hand to support.
Lyndsay Morrison, BADMINTONscotland’s Coaching and Development Manager, said: “For participants, the Smash In2 programme will give people of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to play in a fun and sociable environment, learning something new or returning to a sport they used to play.
“It can provide many health benefits as well as giving families time to keep fit, enjoy sport and have fun together. There will be an organiser on hand to lead the sessions so there are tips and advice available, but the main message is to enjoy badminton.”
Smash In2 clubs can be organised anywhere in Scotland through local authorities, facility providers, sports development, schools or existing clubs. For some participants, this will be part of the entry point into the sport and could lead to joining an already established club.
Sessions can also be organised by existing clubs by way of offering more opportunities or as a development pathway into more competitive badminton. Some sessions may already be in place and Smash In2 can enhance the programmes that are already running around Scotland and build on the positive opportunities that are out there.
There are many benefits for organisers to being part of this national initiative and Craig Smith, SI2B Organiser, said: ‘’The Adult SI2B at Allander has been very successful with attendances as high as 22 participants. It has been great to see varying abilities and local people of all ages taking part, having fun and keeping fit through the sessions.
“As the organiser, my main role is to ensure everyone is happy, ensure matches are organised and provide some basic coaching for players in between games.’’
John Farr, EDLC Sports Development Coordinator, said: ‘’I am pleasantly surprised about the numbers. One of the things that has stood out to me is the adults who have come back into the sport as well as attracting new beginner adults.
“The session has a relaxed social setting where adults enjoy both playing and socialising. Many of the players have commented on the benefits the session has had on their overall personal health.
“I believe the success behind it all is the usage of social media to promote session initially in addition with creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere for everyone and anyone. From recent feedback members are requesting that another SI2B session could be set up.’’
For more information on how to set up a Smash In2 class or if you would like to find out where your local Smash In2 session is, visit www.badmintonscotland.org.uk or contact Lyndsay Morrison on 0141 445 1218.