Active Lives 1200

Badminton participation in England has now returned to pre-Covid levels, including a large increase in female participation.

This has been confirmed in the latest Active Lives report published by Sport England, a national report used by all sports to track activity levels.

Badminton England has worked hard to encourage a post-pandemic return to court through initiatives such as ‘The Big Hit’ and No Strings sessions to promote badminton, creating tools and assets for use for grassroots clubs and coaches, as well as a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging female players to start playing.

The governing body’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy and Commonwealth Games Legacy project work has proved successful, providing a focus to target key social demographics and geographical areas.

Badminton England has also invested in the training of females to become coordinators who can deliver No Strings badminton sessions to an exclusive female audience and a female leadership coaching programme to upskill coaches and allow them to inspire more females to play within their community.

This has resulted in a 2021/22 female participation of 285,400, which is 95 per cent up from the same period in the previous year.

In total, the Active Lives report has indicated that 733,200 people played badminton regularly (twice in the last 28 days) between November 2021 and November 2022, supporting the wider findings from Sport England that sport has returned to pre-Covid participation levels.

The figures listed are welcome and testament to the hard work which has gone into supporting clubs and coaches with funding, guidance and resources, along with the aforementioned national participation initiatives.

While the results are pleasing, Badminton England recognise there is still more to do and are aware not everyone will have seen these improvements.

A new 10-year strategy for badminton in England will continue to address participation levels, along with facilities, coaching, junior pathway and all areas of the sport, to inspire many more people to play.

Badminton England Chief Executive Sue Storey said: “It is encouraging to see that we have returned to pre-Covid participation levels.

“Badminton England has worked extremely hard to support clubs and coaches with funding, guidance and resources, plus national participation initiatives to inspire people to pick up a racket.

“We are also extremely grateful to the badminton community and especially our army of volunteers who have helped over the past year to encourage more people to play.

“We know though, that there is more work to be done to maintain and grow these levels and our new strategy to be released later this year will provide an opportunity for us to address the areas we must focus on moving forwards.

“I am personally so inspired to see the number of female players increasing and I hope to see many more come and try badminton from all of our communities.”

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