It’s hard to believe that just a few years previously; Waingels College did not have any extra-curricular badminton taking place at all, until they implemented the SmashUp! programme, as Head of PE Reahgan Quartermain explains:
“This modern approach of a traditional sport increased enjoyment and increased levels of intensity. The department implemented the same method in curriculum and noticed an improvement in student’s cognitive understanding i.e. tactical awareness and decision-making and greater resilience to attempt new skills and ‘win’. Via observation, it was evident that this approach had a positive impact on the behaviour for learning (as long as the students enjoyed the music playing!) and improved game etiquette. A key aspect of the PE department’s philosophy is for students to enjoy, participate in sport and lead a healthy active lifestyle. From a department that did not have a badminton club, to a strong attendance of 30 plus students on a Friday afternoon, shows the great success of the programme. The club has a fantastic atmosphere, providing an enjoyable and competitive environment where students from different year groups can become friends and compete against each other.”
Numbers grew rapidly at the SmashUp! club and as a result an additional session was required. The school accessed satellite club funding through Badminton England and their local County Sport Partnership and created a link to Woodford Park Junior Badminton Club. The link was forged because Chris Hudson, Head Coach of Woodford Park was also the Activator for the SmashUp! sessions.
Chris was selected for Badminton England’s Young Coach Development programme 2014/15, and was one of three shortlisted nominees for Coach of the Year at the 2015 Get Berkshire Active awards. Chris has now completed his Level 2 coaching qualification and runs the satellite club sessions.
The school is regularly getting up to 60 badminton players participating after-school on a Thursday and Friday. The Key Stage 3 boys team won the Wokingham Level 2 competition back in January 2016 and missed out reaching the final by one point in the Berkshire Level 3 at Herschel Grammar School in February.
Whilst the school did not beat the 123 players in a rally, they plan to take on the World Record again in the future!