Sports Minister Tracey Crouch saw first-hand this week how badminton is helping inspire a new generation of players to get active and play sport.
Badminton England’s SmashUp! initiative is currently on a nationwide ‘PE Takeover Tour’ to inspire more pupils to take up the sport.
Aimed at 12-17-year-olds, SmashUp! challenges the traditional way of playing badminton by focusing on the fun and social side of the sport.
On Wednesday (21 October) the Sports Minister visited Kingsdale Foundation School in Southwark to see the latest stage of the tour, find out more and hit some shuttles with the first pupils.
Miss Crouch said: “It was great to see how badminton is inspiring young people to take up the sport in schools, encouraging them to get active.
“The pupils seemed to really enjoy taking part and I hope the SmashUp! tour leaves a lasting legacy for the sport.”
Adrian Christy, Badminton England’s Chief Executive, said: “We were very pleased that the Minister took time from her busy schedule to see the work we are doing to engage and inspire young people to play more sport.
“The message from London 2012 was to inspire a generation and through the SmashUp! programme we are certainly doing that, and seeing more and more young people, especially teenage girls, play badminton on a regular basis at schools and venues across the country.”
Steve Morrison, Kingsdale Foundation School’s Headteacher, said: “The SmashUp! initiative has proved very popular with our students and we were delighted to show the Minister how all of the sports we play at the school are having a major impact on student engagement, self-esteem and on our attainment and achievement levels.”
Representatives from the London Youth Games, who have been working with Badminton England on a volunteer project to encourage young people to arrange and support local competitions, were also at the session.
Chief Executive Jon Hughes said: “Our partnership with Badminton England is a great example of working with National Governing Bodies to give young people the skills and the opportunities to volunteer and support sport delivery in their local communities. It will mean more young people playing and enjoying badminton as part of the London Youth Games, part of the School Games with greater community sustainability.
“There will be more exit routes from the Games into local school satellite clubs, predominantly supported by young volunteers.”
The nationwide ‘PE Takeover Tour’ of 18 secondary and middle schools is due to end next month in Lambeth.
There are currently 1,600 schools nationwide delivering SmashUp! on a weekly basis, with over 40,000 pupils getting involved.
Find out more about the tour here.
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