Posted on 6th November 2020
Edinburgh Badminton Academy first club in Scotland to achieve Shuttlemark Gold Club Award
On 2nd October 2020, Edinburgh Badminton Academy (EBA) became the first club in Scotland to achieve the Shuttlemark Gold Club Award. Founded in 2013, the EBA has became one of the biggest badminton clubs in Scotland. Their aim is to improve opportunities for badminton players in Edinburgh & Scotland. The club started with one summer camp, attended by only seven children. After that, their first weekly junior session at Crags Centre began, and adult training followed quickly after. They now coach over three hundred players, whose ability ranges from complete beginners to junior national champions. In 2019, EBA became a not-for-profit social enterprise. This means that any profit made is reinvested directly back into the club. The club is also part of Badminton Scotland’s Pathway Club programme. These efforts have been recognised nationally across the Scottish Sporting scene with Head Coach Greg Broadbent receiving the 2018 Young Person’s Coach of the Year Award at the 2018 sportscotland Coaching, Officiating & Volunteering (COV) Awards.
Greg Broadbent and Britt Ashton of EBA summed up exactly what the club is about:
‘’We are a badminton academy dedicated to helping improve opportunities for badminton lovers in Edinburgh. We’re a friendly club with a strong development focus. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner who just wants to challenge yourself to a new sport, or an experienced competitor who is training to win. Junior and adult coaching sessions run every day of the week, all year round. Players are welcome to attend as many or as few sessions as they’d like. We have ten teams in the Lothian League and run a series of ranking tournaments.’’
Badminton Scotland’s Shuttlemark Club Accreditation Scheme was set up to help support clubs to develop and strengthen their infrastructure, plan for the future and in turn, increase capacity and grow. Badminton Scotland believes Clubs are key in providing quality opportunities for communities across Scotland to both participate & progress in badminton and believe this warrants recognition.
The club felt that the Shuttlemark programme benefited them greatly:
‘‘Shuttlemark provided a great framework to ensure EBA’s foundations are completely solid. The templates and guidance provided by Badminton Scotland were not only informative but very thorough. Our policy and strategy improved massively as we progressed through the award and we feel our members and coaches are seeing the benefit of this already. It made us consider things we may not have done previously. Our child protection and well being policy in particular has been made more user friendly and practical as we realised that 99% of all child protection policy is written for adults. We needed to adapt ours so children have a clear understanding that their views should be respected and how to tell us if something is wrong.’’
During lockdown the club realised they had to adapt what they do and their offer to members:
‘’All of our sessions came to an abrupt end at the end of March when lockdown restrictions were enforced. We were quick to act and asked our members what we could be to provide for them during this period of isolation. We began holding daily online live circuits classes for all of our members to attend free of charge. These started in March and continued through summer until we were back on indoor courts. Our main priority was keeping our members active, entertained and connected during the period. We think a few members have come back even fitter than they were previously because of these tough sessions! We also held quizzes and games after these classes which helped our juniors stay connected with their friends and take the weight off parents who were working from home. Our elite players received personalised weekly programmes containing shadowing, strength & stability, endurance as well as mental and tactical sessions. We developed our junior players’ leadership skills by allowing them to host sessions, come up with circuits and take leadership of their own programmes. Once restrictions began to lift, we focussed on prepping all of our members for return to play with badminton specific prehab sessions and theraband work.”
Our outdoor sessions were great fun! Although contending with the wind was often a bit challenging, we had a few wind-free sessions allowing really great badminton to be played. We mixed in some circuits and fun non-badminton games for the kids on the more windy days and I think they all really enjoyed it!’’
Comment from one of EBA’s junior players, Maithili:
“During lockdown, Edinburgh Badminton Academy gave us a great opportunity to retain our fitness levels through online Zoom circuit sessions and outdoor meets, meaning we could keep healthy and utilise the quarantine period as much as possible. We found this extremely valuable in keeping our fitness levels and badminton skills sharp, and to ensure a smooth return back to court!”
And from Lingyun, “EBA’s online sessions allowed me to keep working hard under the different and hard circumstances, which I really valued!”
We asked if the EBA had any advice for clubs who wish to develop/grow:
‘’Do everything you can to provide flexibility to players and parents. Family life can be busy and lives cannot always revolve entirely around badminton. We find that allowing a choice of session times and venues to our members really encourages engagement in the club. This also applies to the type of sessions offered as not every player is looking for the same thing. Try to provide options for everyone, from intense/technical coaching to relaxed games sessions. This means that all ages and levels can be enthusiastic and included in the club no matter what they are looking for from badminton.”
EBA’s large coaching team is essential to the club’s success. Being proactive with looking for people who may be interested in becoming a qualified coach has allowed us to grow our coaching team to 20+ members. We are now starting to see older juniors come through and show interest in starting their coaching journey as they can see clear opportunities within EBA and are keen to get involved. Providing our own workshops and mentoring alongside official qualifications gives hands on experience and allows newer coaches to rapidly progress.
We would like to thank Euan for his support throughout the process. Badminton Scotland provides great guidance, and we would recommend other clubs to work through the bronze, silver and gold award as it is extremely beneficial to players, coaches and organisers involved with club level badminton.’’
Keith Russell, Chief Executive of Badminton Scotland praised the EBA for its accomplishment:
‘’I would like to congratulate the Edinburgh Badminton Academy on being the first Badminton club in Scotland to achieve the Shuttlemark Gold Club Award. We greatly appreciate the contribution & positive impact that the EBA has on badminton within the Lothian Area and at a national level. The club have effectively demonstrated ways to utilise the downtime during lockdown to reflect on current practice, continue to keep members engaged, motivated & supported as well as concentrate on other projects such as the Shuttlemark Scheme. EBA are making a significant contribution to increasing participation and providing opportunities for players to progress which has been evident from the recent intake of players into the Lothian Regional Performance Squads. Club Development is a key priority for Badminton Scotland and we hope that the EBA can inspire other clubs in the future. Due to the club’s willingness to grow & develop, we believe that the EBA will continue to flourish and we look forward to continuing to work with the club in future.’’
To find out more about the Edinburgh Badminton Academy visit: https://edinburghbadmintonacademy.co.uk/
To find out more information on Shuttlemark and the SIDC and how to apply please click here.Go Back