ADVICE FOR PARENTS
Badminton is a fun game for girls and boys, which can be played indoors all year round. It develops fitness, stamina, teamwork, co-ordination and confidence skills – and it is great fun.
It’s also a great sport to play as a family in the garden or by hiring a court at your local leisure centre.
In Primary Schools, Badminton England offers the Racket Pack programme which gives teachers free training and resources to deliver badminton skills training. Fronted by four illustrated characters, the programme is aimed at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 levels with awards certificates on offer as children progress through the skills stages. We ask schools to link with a local club to offer an easy route into playing club badminton for the pupils if they want to continue.
Secondary schools offer badminton in curriculum time and some offer after-school Smash Up recreational clubs to encourage continued play.
We have over 1,800 clubs in England with most offering junior sessions every week. Club coaches will offer training to beginners and help develop aspiring players.
Children that show a talent for playing badminton can compete on the junior circuit from Under-11 level. Clubs are able to take a team to local and regional tournaments, leading to a national finals competition at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.
There is also a performance pathway in place to identify players who could have the potential to play nationally in the future. The pathway is split into four different groups dependent upon age, Discover (for under-13s), Engage (for under-20s), Excel (for under-22s) and Perform (for elite national players). Players are given support such as training, access to international competition and sports science/medicine.
Equipment and kit
Schools and clubs will have equipment they can lend to children, but if your child shows an interest it is worth purchasing them their own badminton racket suitable for their size. These are readily available, starting off as low as a couple of pounds in sports shops and online. Shuttlecocks and nets are also easily available if they’d like to practise in the garden or local park. Children should wear trainers (some courts may require white-soled shoes) and comfortable clothing, such as shorts and a t-shirt.