When we started teaching badminton at Merkinch Primary School the rackets we had were old and mostly broken. Now, with the support of Badminton Scotland, we have a well-resourced and well attended Badminton Club in its third year.
Badminton Scotland, and in particular Jane Grant, has been a wonderful advisor for all things badminton and has made it possible for pupils from Merkinch to attend two Big Hit festivals at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
The first such festival we attended was the Scottish Open where the children got the chance to see top level professionals in action, experience the atmosphere of a huge event and receive some expert coaching.
The following year Badminton Scotland helped us travel to Glasgow once again but this time for the World Championships. This was an incredible experience. The pupils were fortunate enough to watch the very best players in the world including then Men’s Singles World Number One Chen Long and the former World Number One Lin Dan.
In the Big Hit Festival on this occasion the children were once again given the opportunity to be expertly coached and meet and greet with some badminton world stars.
In helping us attend such events Badminton Scotland really put badminton in the forefront of our pupils’ minds and created great excitement about the sport with countless children eager to get on a court and try it for themselves.
Badminton Scotland donated a kit bag to Merkinch following the World Championships which was gratefully received. The kit was used to support our afterschool badminton club and help develop the skills of our pupils and give them some competitive experience in local competitions in the Highlands.
The pupils attending the Badminton Club have shown great enthusiasm for the sport and a real desire to improve their skills. Badminton has proven such a hit that the finishing time for Badminton Club became more of a guideline as the children were always desperate for ‘one more rally’!
There is no doubt that being provided with top quality kit helped our children to feel like they belonged at competitions and had the tools required to compete.
Having a quality kit bag and receiving quality rackets as part of our Big Hit attendance has helped our children achieve remarkable success in a very short space of time.
Obviously we have very talented children but nice new equipment levelled the playing field. We are proud to say that our Badminton Club produced a Girls Doubles pair who progressed through local tournaments all the way to the Scottish National Primary School Finals in Perth and a team who were selected to represent the Highlands and Islands at the Scottish National Primary School Team event in Ravenscraig.
Badminton Club 2018/19 is in its infancy but we look forward to making great use of our kit bag once again.
Merkinch Primary School would like to thank Jane Grant and everyone at Badminton Scotland for their continued support and we hope to see you on a court somewhere in Scotland sometime soon!
Report and image courtesy of Merkinch Primary