Premier League 4 Sport changing lives of young people
In September 2009, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust took the Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) initiative to local secondary school Essa Academy, Great Lever, to try and promote and increase participation in Badminton.
As soon as the initiative started two individuals Meyuni Algamage Dona and Piumi Algamage Dona immediately stood out for their great attitudes and enthusiasm for Badminton. The girls attended every PL4S badminton session at the school and their badminton skills improved week on week, which didn’t go unnoticed by Coach Geoff Sewart, Bolton Lads and Girls Club (BLGC). Through the PL4S initiative the girls went on to attend a local Badminton club at Bolton Lads and Girls Club where they continued their dedication by attending every training session.
In 2010 their commitment to the sport was rewarded as both Meyuni and Piumi were selected to represent Bolton in the Champions Challenge, a Year 8 singles tournament where the best badminton players across the North West were selected to compete. The girls excelled themselves with Meyuni reaching the Quarter final stage against very strong opposition and Piumi managed to bring home a Silver medal.
At present Meyuni and Piumi both represent BLGC in the Bolton Badminton League, a highly competitive Adult League, and they have both been a credit to the BLGC’s team. Meyuni has also been selected to represent Lancashire, and also accepted into the Bolton Badminton Performance Centre – the elite centre for badminton in the North West.
The young ladies have demonstrated a willingness to be more than just a badminton team member and have recently been on a 4 day residential camping trip in Settle (Yorkshire Dales) which both girls thoroughly enjoyed. Meyuni and Piumi participated in a variety of team building activities, including an unsupported hill walk, gorge walking, climbing and abseiling along with some badminton too.
Rachel Burke, Sports Development Manager at BLGC, quotes “On court and off court both young ladies are polite, enthusiastic and are true role models for the younger members of the club. I am keen to give the girls more responsibilities this forthcoming year particularly through organising the badminton team and also through our young leader’s project where we have our leaders volunteer with our younger members. I truly believe that Meyuni and Piumi have a lot to offer and are an asset to the club”.
Nicol Meredith, Premier League 4 Sport Coordinator, states “It is fantastic to see how the PL4S initiative has truly changed the lives of two young people and the PL4S model really has worked as we can clearly see how these two young girls have developed into exceptionally talented badminton players as well as sports enthusiasts”.