December 21, 2022

Community badminton continued to thrive in a 2022 full of huge successes throughout the year.

While elite players took on challenges such as a home Commonwealth Games and the YONEX All England Open, across the nation players played their part in an enormously successful and significant 12 months.

Once again, the Badminton Big Hit Week proved a huge success in September, with hundreds of clubs across the country taking part.

Facilities across the country opened their doors for a wide range of events including evening social sessions, family activities and outdoor events as clubs welcomed back old members and brought new people into the sport.

Among the clubs that took part was Newbury and District Junior Badminton club in Berkshire, with club head Malcom Taylor delighted to welcome over a dozen new members.

He said: “It encourages new people to start the sport which is great.

“And that’s the main thing, to get as many people as possible to hit a shuttlecock on court or pick up a racket and hit it.

“That’s the big driver to the Big Hit Week and a lot of badminton players seem to know about it which is great.”

A big part of a hugely successful year were the volunteers and coaches that play a vital role in badminton up and down the country.

In June, Keith Burns from Abbey Badminton Club was named Badminton England’s inaugural Grassroots Coach of the Year as part of UK Coaching Week, with Sheila Boyes and Phil Hall named runners-up.

“Sometimes as coaches we forget or do not realise the impact we can have on our members. This award showed me that the job I am doing is helping my members in ways I didn’t realise,” said Burns.

Also in June – and throughout 2022 – Badminton England celebrated National Volunteers’ Week, recognising people who have made long standing commitments to local clubs.

Among those celebrated were John Williams, who was awarded an English Badminton Award in March after over 30 years coaching at Lightwater Leisure Centre in Surrey, and John Herdman, who at the end of the summer retired after 50 years of service with the Middlesex County Badminton Association.

Volunteers also made a huge contribution at the YONEX All England Open in Birmingham, with fans back at the event for the first time since the pandemic.

From helping fans find their seats to ensuring everything ran smoothly behind the scenes, the event could not have been as successful as it was without the tireless efforts of people from across the Badminton England Family.

This year also saw Badminton England take steps to ensure that it continued to be an inclusive and open sport with a wide range of voices guiding that vision.

In July, Badminton England reaffirmed its commitment to supporting and improving accessibility to the sport with a brand new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

The EDI strategy was launched to help make badminton the most accessible and diverse sport in the country, building on a growing base across all communities to further increase the sports’ reach.

The committee includes renowned leaders within badminton and across the sporting world, as well as community players from a range of backgrounds to ensure that everyone is represented and everyone’s voice can be heard.

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