Badminton’s place as one of England’s biggest participation sports has been confirmed by results from a new survey.
Over four million people played the sport last year – that’s 8.6% of the population – with one-and-a-half million of those taking part on a regular basis.
The figures, produced by the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of BADMINTON England, put badminton as the No.1 racket participation sport in the country.
Nearly one million adults (926,000) play at least once per month. When added to a further 1.83m irregular players, this means 2.75m adults hit shuttles annually.
The findings back up previous analysis by Sport England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which suggested that badminton bucked a trend of static sport participation rates between 2002 and 2006.
“These figures reveal that badminton is a mass participation sport across England,” said BADMINTON England Chief Executive Adrian Christy. “We are bucking the trend, exhibiting strong growth across a variety of sectors and groups.”
The future appears to be bright, with over half-a-million children playing at least 10 times per year out of school and 12% of secondary school pupils taking part regularly – which is five times the comparable adult participation rate.
“Badminton is alive and kicking in England,” added Christy. “This report provides proof that our game is growing as a sport for all, with our popularity to children building a large base of players from which we aim to produce future champions.”
The adult population of England's participation in badminton
Type Number Percent
Regular players (at least once every 4 wks) 926,000 2.25%
Occasional players (at least once per year) 1,830,000 4.45%
Non- badminton players 38,460,000 93.30%
Totals 41,216,000 100.00%
Frequency of participation in badminton
Frequency Active People Taking Part GHS
2005/06 2005/06 2002
At least once in the last year n/a 6.7% 6.4%
At least once in the last 4 weeks 2.2% 2.9% 1.8%
At least 4 times in the last 4 weeks 1.3% 1.6% 1%
At least 12 times in the last 4 weeks 0.1% 0.1% <0.5%
Summary of total badminton players in England
Category 0-6 Years Y2-Y11 Adults Total
Regular players Unknown 0.58 0.93 1.51
Occasional players Unknown 1.05 1.83 2.88
Any players Unknown 1.63 2.76 4.39