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How a Deaf Awareness Club is leading the way in North Shields

Here at Badminton England we pride ourselves on being accessible to all – regardless of age, gender, race or disability – we want you to be able to enjoy our sport.  

As part of the Great British Week of Sport, we wanted to highlight some of the fantastic work that clubs are doing to help people #BeActive.  

Back in January, The Deaf Awareness: NE Badminton Club began, as a section of a Deaf Sports Project funded by Sport England 

Deaf Awareness: NE had spoken to their members who had expressed an interest in taking part in badminton at their venue - the Linskill Centre in North Shields.  

We worked closely with Deaf Awareness: NE and its members to create a new weekly disability-specific badminton session, to provide a friendly and sociable introduction to the sport for those aged 16+. 

As part of this process, we also identified a local Level 2 coach to deliver the sessions and the club also received an £853 grant from Badminton England to help with start-up costs. 

The session is supported by sign language and speech to text as appropriate and is an opportunity for deaf people to take part in exercise and learn the basics of the game in a way that they might be denied through attendance at traditional clubs. 

The success of the club can be attributed to the strong partnership between Badminton England, Deaf Awareness: NE and local coach, Sarah Burtenshaw 

Sarah also attended a local Disability CPD workshop, organised by Badminton England, to further develop her skills for coaching disabled participants and she has learnt some sign language from players at the sessions to overcome communication barriers.  

Sarah said: “Working with Deaf Awareness NE has helped to develop me as a coach as it has helped to develop the more visual aspects of my coaching and my sign language has definitely improved 

“The group have taught me as much about sign language as I’ve taught them about badminton!” 

Want to get active this #GreatBritishSportsWeek? We've been mapping which facilities are open for badminton! Find the ones nearest you on our activity finder.