Hertfordshire Badminton Association (HBA) are reaping the rewards of No Strings Badminton sessions by increasing the activity levels of over 50s across the county.

The rollout of No Strings Badminton at the start of the year targeted each of Hertfordshire’s 10 deprived local authority areas to improve physical and social engagement.

HBA led the project in partnership with, and with devolution to, four Community Badminton Networks.

No Strings sessions will continue over the next 11 months with the aim of garnering secondary benefits such as participation in county development pathways.


In line with NHS guidelines, HBA led objectives to provide social badminton sessions to Hertfordshire’s deprived local authorities.

The early success of the sessions has led to new ambitions, such as outreach within the local community to further support with clubs, tournaments, volunteers, No Strings activators, county masters and coaches.

No Strings Badminton (NSB) is a national participation programme offering low-cost, fun ‘pay and play sessions’ at local venues.

It provides participants with a friendly and welcoming environment to play badminton, socialise and keep fit on their terms.

It is fully inclusive and open to adult players of any ability.


HBA worked with Hertfordshire Sports Partnerships’ (HSP) strategic lead for health, Will Slemmings, and his ‘Active Local’ team, HBA’s four community partnership networks and the local authority’s sports delivery agencies to define the project.

HSP provided a free Sport England bid-writing resource which was successful in gaining £10,360 for the project.

They also committed to facilitating links via their 10 active local officers who worked with the deprived ‘Active Local Areas’ in each local authority.

Active Local officers worked with GP surgeries, their social prescribers and other health, sports and physical activity officials.

Badminton England’s support through coaching was critical as regional managers Julie Pike, Liam Cooper and clubs and programmes manager Sarah Darragh oversaw delivery of sessions.


Engaging with and obtaining support was essential from HBA and the four Community Badminton Networks in different environments across the county.

GP social prescribers garnered participants in the 50+ community as No Strings Badminton has proved a hit in its early stages.

HSP’s annual Coaching Education week, between 16-25 February, will further enhance aspects of the project as it continues over the course of the year.

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