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How Claire from Ryton Junior Badminton Club kept her members engaged during lockdown

During the COVID-19 lockdown, it’s been difficult to maintain motivation, and keep connected to our badminton communities across the Country. Claire Lapworth, a Level 2 coach from Ryton in Tyne and Wear, has been working hard to keep her junior members engaged, active and entertained. We find out more about what she’s been up to since March with her local Relationship Manager …

How does Claire get involved with her local community?

Claire works in a school for children with disabilities whilst also single-handedly running Ryton Junior Badminton Club out of Thorp Academy in Ryton. She is the Club Secretary and Level 2 Head Coach, delivering the weekly sessions. The club is thriving, with a current membership of over 20 junior members.


What did Claire and the club do differently during lockdown?

During lockdown, Claire did a great job of keeping the junior players at the club engaged through filming and sharing a variety of fun, online challenges on the club’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages then also sharing videos from club members to recognise their badminton achievements at home.

Claire also adapted her activities and sessions by providing a great example of how to run a ‘Virtual Club’ – it was so successful, that it was featured on Badminton England’s Return to Play toolkit, providing a good example of how to run a ‘virtual club’ and demonstrating how badminton clubs could keep their players engaged.


Claire also received a badminton equipment bundle from Tyne & Wear Sport. Claire then went above and beyond to distribute this to club members around her local area, either by dropping it off at players’ houses or arranging collection times from her garden, to encourage and enable juniors to carry on playing whilst the club was unable to run. Finally, Claire organised a competition for her club members where the player or family who took part in the most challenges and contributed to the club’s social media could win a full beach badminton set.


What has been the impact of Claire’s hard work and commitment?

Claire was nominated for, and received, the Tyne & Wear Sport #PassOnYourPassion award for the great work she did during lockdown to keep the players at Ryton Junior Badminton Club engaged and active. By sharing these challenges, sorting and distributing equipment and encouraging players and their families to get involved and stay active, it has enabled people in Ryton to continue playing badminton. As well as helping to keep them active together, it has also created a great sense of community spirit across the town.


A final note …

Claire is a hugely committed volunteer coach, and Badminton England really value her efforts to keep junior players enthused and engaged in badminton during the pandemic. Claire’s local Relationship Manager for Northumberland and Durham, Holly Robson said “Claire has done a brilliant job of keeping her club members engaged and interested in badminton during lockdown! She has created a way for the junior players and their families to interact with each other, take part in challenges and stay connected through social media. Families have been participating together and, hopefully when the club restarts, new children who have taken part in the lockdown challenges will start to attend the weekly club sessions.”