The 2017 YONEX All England drew a global entry with players from 32 nations competing at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham.
But whilst the world’s best players made Birmingham their temporary home during Championships week, it is just the start of a worldwide tour that will see them rack up as many air miles as world ranking points over the coming months.
But now the stars have left, Birmingham - host city of the YONEX All England now for over 23 years - continues to feel the full effects of world class event delivery much closer to home in its local communities.
Over the past months, Badminton England has been working with Sport England, Sport Birmingham, the Birmingham Wellbeing Services and countless local partners and charity organisations to build a long lasting legacy fitting of the Championships.
For 2017, brand new communities have been reached with new court time opportunities being opened up as local players of all ages and ability look to emulate the title winning talents they have witnessed in the city.
From the appointment of twelve ‘community champions’ to relationships with local mosques and youth organisations, here are just a few examples of the brilliant work that goes on to extend the good feel factor that the Championships bring:
- New weekly badminton sessions for participants with learningdisabilities and mental health issues have been established in partnership with Midland Mencap and social enterprise, Start Again
- Saheli Women’s Organisation and Al Najiyaat Sports Club, the sporting arm of nearby Clifton Road mosque, have given Asian women more chances to express themselves on court and to take up coaching courses.
- A summer roadshow of ‘Wot a Racket!’ outdoor badminton sessions were hosted across the city with ‘winter’ events set up for people who were finding their feet back in the game.
- The ER Mason Youth Centre in the heart of the city have set up regular coaching qualification and training opportunities to inspire disadvantaged young people.
- Courts popped up at Birmingham New Street station offering commuters and day trippers the chance to enjoy badminton taster sessions in the most unusual of locations in the build up to the Championships
There are over 24,000 courts and 1,800 badminton clubs ready to welcome you across England. To get involved with the nation's favourite racket sport, www.badmintonengland.co.uk/waystoplay
Read the remarkable story of Margaret Nankabirwa - Africa's number 4 badminton star, who went from Commonwealth Games delight to fleeing to England in fear of her life.