Passionate, committed individuals are the people who make our sport happen and enable it to grow and flourish.
When 20-year-old Ollie Stevenson decided to set up a junior club, he knew it would be a long road ahead that would take time and determination to get to where he wanted it.
Having begun sessions back in April 2018, Swavesey Junior Badminton Club had just three members but was resolved to introducing more children to badminton as well as enabling them to progress to the senior club.
There were challenges in the beginning - attaining funding, getting enough members and all the paperwork on top of this!
However, Ollie knew with time, numbers would grow and now the Cambridgeshire club, aimed at children aged 7 to 16, has reached 24 members!
This has led to the session being split into two based on ability and the club now operates at full capacity!
It is thanks to Ollie’s hard work – he achieved his level two coaching qualification - and the support of local partners including Swavesey Badminton Club (Seniors) and Swavesey Village College that the club has been a great success in a short space of time. The latter allowed the club to use their courts free of charge each week until they had enough members to be able to break even.
Ollie also acknowledged the support provided by Badminton England who offered guidance on how to go about setting up the club as well as funding advice.
Overall this year they have ran over 60 sessions and there has been a stark improvement in the level of performance. Most importantly though, the children are enjoying their sessions and some members have even competed in their very first tournament!
Three of the players (pictured) also attended the Cambridgeshire County trials, and all three were selected into the county squad reserves.
Head Coach Ollie said: “We are immensely proud of them all.
“All in all, I think the junior club is coming on exceptionally well and I wish to thank Badminton England for all the support you have given us.
“It is such a pleasure to be part of the coaching community and being able to see the children develop and succeed!”