Posted on 10th May 2023
Glasgow is honoured to be the first city to be named the European Capital of Sport for the second time in 2023. Sport is an integral part of life in Glasgow, from community clubs and volunteers to world class facilities and the hosting of international events.
This accolade recognises and celebrates the people of Glasgow. From volunteer helpers at school sports clubs to world class coaches; from grassroots enthusiasts to medal winning Olympians. Glasgow has it all and it’s you who make sport the heartbeat of our city. This accolade recognises and celebrates all your efforts to make this city globally renowned for sport.
The theme of Glasgow’s 2023 European Capital of Sport is Changing Lives through School Sport, Community Sport, and Health Sport.
Glasgow Life will have a year-long programme of activities woven around participation and public health, building on the profile and massive scale of the UCI World Cycling Championships, but also via the host of other local, citywide, national and international cultural and sporting events and activities. The city’s plans for next year are focused on the contribution of active participation in sport and physical activity as ways of supporting positive ageing, building wellbeing and promoting connections within and between diverse communities.
A new fund has been launched across the city focusing on reaching new people, connecting communities, creating new opportunities for participation, and celebrating the role of sport and physical activity. Over the next twenty years Glasgow wants sport and physical activity to be routine parts of giving everyone a sense of control over their lives.
Glasgow Sports Lifestyle Drop-in Badminton Programme based at the National Badminton Academy, is part of a wider badminton programme which offers a social, inclusive environment for adults looking to enjoy a slower pace of the game in a friendly, social environment.
This coach lead programme delivered by Glasgow Life is part of the Get Active Glasgow Club Membership accessed by over 6000 members. These weekly sessions offer a warm welcome and positive playing environment to players of all abilities. The programme welcomes participates both new to the game and those with previous playing experience to an environment where the engagement off court is equal to the physical benefits of playing.
The daytime delivery of the programme naturally engages an audience of around 50 weekly attendances providing a structure and purpose to their day. The growth of the programme over time and has been supported through increased court access and the inclusion within the Active Club membership to reduce the financial barrier to participation.
The success of the programme undoubtedly stems for the coach Sandra who has been the constant friendly, familiar face supporting daytime activity with the venue for over 26 years. Sandra’s commitment has been instrumental to building the success it is today. Her role may be primarily to co-ordinate a positive playing environment for everyone but for Sandra, she views here role as a trusted friend and ‘constant’ to be there to listen and support each player while creating a welcoming and challenging experience on court.
“People come to play badminton but the greatest benefit I see is the growth of networks when they walk out the hall” – Sandra, Badminton Coach
Many participants share the same challenges in life including loneliness, social isolation, anxiety, lack of confidence and health concerns which the programme and environment directly supports through the time spend when not playing, talking, and engaging with other players in a venue which offers a top-class facility to be physically active, socialise and host world class events.
Lifestyle Badminton is more than just badminton…
“It gives me the knowledge that I have a reason to get up, engage with likeminded people in a welcoming, informal environment, allowing positive interaction with a reduced focus on me– a situation I will always try to avoid”
Glasgow Life’s commitment to funding, promoting, and supporting this programme is recognised and valued by the participants. Alec first engaged with the programme in 2019 through a Motor Neuron Self-Management Programme to build stamina.
His return to the programme after COVID-19 was extremely challenging for him through increased anxiety, fear of social interaction and his physical deterioration. The encouragement from the Motor Neuron Society helped Alec return.
“I knew I would be ok if I could get there. I suffer cognitive challenges due to my MS which means I am unable to keep the score but this is never an issue. When playing and off court, I’m surrounded by natural support and understanding from everyone which I am grateful for” – Alec, Participant with Multiple Sclerosis
Developing coaches as well as players
“I was impressed that the qualification now appears on my SQA certificate like all my other exams!” – Anna, Level 1 Coaching Participant
Not everyone has the talent or desire to play competitively, and coaching is a great way to stay involved. Thanks to Glasgow Sports Coach and Officials fund we were able to support Anna, Erin, and Gregor as young developing coaches through their Level 1 Coaching Award. Together, the impact these young people have had on the club is immense.
All of them have grown personally from coaching and are confident and capable of working with groups of players, managing parents expectations, handling the unexpected and helping out as needed.
The coaches enjoy the friendships they make at the club with the other coaches and the players, Anna works with our Minis (6-9yrs) and she says, ‘they sure keep her amused’.
Gregor enjoys working with the older players and Erin, formerly a top junior player enjoys working with the girls to improve their skills.