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June 29, 2022

English badminton’s young changemakers came together last month to launch Badminton England’s first National Youth Voice Forum.

14 young people aged between 14 and 17 attended the first in-person meeting of the forum at the National Badminton Centre – and also met some special guests. 

The National Youth Voice Forum is working to raise the profile of young people in badminton and give them the chance to have their opinions and feedback listened to. 

Reflecting on the launch, Ruby Clark, 15 from Berkshire, said: “Such a great day and an amazing opportunity. I felt so lucky to have been there, been able to give my opinions, and feel as if I had a voice to be heard and a valid opinion helping Badminton England.  

“It was so enjoyable to contribute towards making young people love badminton just as much as me. 

“We’ve been discussing things about how to get more people volunteering and how to improve young people’s experience of badminton.”

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Alongside coming together from across the country to share their views and those of their peers, the members were able to meet and take part in a Q&A with Callum Hemming, Sean Vendy, Lauren Smith, Marcus Ellis and Graham Hurrell. 

“It was great to see everyone in person and discuss topics, I finally felt like some of the issues surrounding coaches and players will be listened to and I can have the opportunity to change them,” said 17-year-old Sian Phillips, from Yorkshire. 

“It’s been amazing, we’ve got to meet people that I think a lot of us would have dreamt of meeting but never have thought we would have met. 

“It was great to hear everyone else’s thoughts too and I absolutely loved talking to the players it was a dream come true 

“We’ve been given the opportunity to change things for younger people and really improve the standard of coaching across England.”

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The members will be a part of the Forum for at least one year, taking part in meetings every few months both online and in person. 

All 14 took part in an application process to be selected and will shape the future of the sport as well as developing their own skills. 

Senior Relationship Manager, Lee Ward said: “We are really excited to launch our National Youth Voice Forum.  

“Our first cohort of forum members, who we now view as part of the Badminton England team, are a fantastic group of young people from across the country and their passion for making a difference is hugely inspiring.  

“Ensuring the voice of young people is heard and represented in the decisions we make as an organisation is very important to us and we are looking forward to seeing the impact that this group will undoubtedly have.” 

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