2012 All News
Gunners face Fulham in PL4S badminton shootout
Young badminton players from badminton clubs attached to Premier League football giants Arsenal once again proved their dominance on a badminton court after accepting an invitation to face off in a badminton match against Fulham.
Arsenal won the inaugural Premier League 4 Sport Badminton Championships held at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes in February but were celebrating again last weekend at Surrey Sports Park.
February's win over badminton teams representing 15 other football clubs was spearheaded by Sobel Badminton club player Shariff Shamsudeen and the Arsenal fan was as instrumental with his racket this time around against Fulham.
Shariff teamed up with D’Reece Allen-Walker to earn the Gunners the Boys Doubles title with a convincing 21-14 win over Fulham’s Ali Bellagh and Ben Gilbert.
Fulham did claim bronze as Adem Bellagh and Sam Brooker beat Arsena’s Olivia Blackmore and Billie Sophoclides 21-11 in the play off for 3rd place.
The Boys Singles final was an all-Arsenal affair as D’Reece Allen-Walker narrowly defeated his doubles partner, Shamsudeen 21-20 to take the title. Fulham’s Ali Bellagh added a second bronse to his medal haul.
Arsenal did not have things all their own way though as it was Fulham’s Juliet Chee who claimed the Girls Singles title, beating Ursula Shaw of the Gunners 21-13 in the final. Reaching the final was an achievement for Shaw as she had only been playing badminton for 6 months!
Jaina Shah took bronze for Arsenal with a 21-14 play off win over Gabby McCabe of Fulham.
The head to head between Fulham and Arsenal was another showcase of the untapped talent that the Premier League 4 Sport initiative brings to badminton.
With the likes of Arsenal footballers Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere picking up a badminton racket to actively endorse the programme, 5 satellite badminton clubs attached to Arsenal in Highgate, Islington, Hackney and Stoke Newington have been set up to actively work and feed into the well established Black Arrows Badminton Club, who provide coaching to young people across North London.
It is a story replicated by football clubs in the English top flight right across the country. With nearly 10,000 young people nationwide inspired to grab a racket and get on court in taster sessions run in association with the Premier League clubs, badminton has been one of the main beneficiaries of the £5.8m investment in the Premier League Creating Chances programme.
In addition to England and Arsenal players Wlacott and Wilshere, an array of stars such as Scott Parker and Ledley King [Tottenham], Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Danny Welbeck [Manchester United], Wes Brown [Sunderland], Matthew Upson [Stoke City], Jose Enrique [Liverpool FC], Peter Odenwingie [West Brom] and Sylvain Distin [Everton] have all also been strong advocates of the initiative by swinging a badminton racket to inspire children to get involved.