FastStep Badminton Academy has in the past 2 years established itself as one of the biggest and most successful junior badminton clubs in Sussex.
Run as a not-for-profit club to keep fees low and drive inclusivity, has seen continuing success for the club, with a with a 300% increase in members over 2 years. The club is successfully encouraging local children, particularly girls, to play regular sport.
Having operated as a small but successful club in the Crawley area since 2004, founder Zeyar Win and friend Andrew Craig developed a new strategy in 2014 that saw the launch of FastStep Badminton Academy. FastStep would offer professional badminton coaching, a progression pathway for players within a club that created a culture that players would want to be part of.
Zeyar and Andrew were determined to operate FastStep as a not-for-profit venture in order to keep membership fees as low as possible and make the sessions accessible to anyone who wanted to play badminton. Both Zeyar and Andrew freely gave their time to get the new Academy established. All of the admin and much of the coaching is still run on a voluntary basis and the Academy continues to break even.
Launching three new sessions from scratch in Haywards Heath took considerable hard work. Building a website, generating awareness on social media, running free taster sessions and local press all helped raise the Academy’s profile. The result is a growing reputation that is attracting not just local players but those from Horsham, Brighton, Lewes and even Hastings.
The Academy has expanded rapidly in 2 years and now boasts more than 75 players across its 5 groups, from 6 year old beginners learning to hit a shuttle to 17-year old county players competing at national level.
The secret to the success.........
- Addressing the need for a badminton club for local children
- Celebrating the achievements of the players at all levels
- Promoting the club via the website and social media
- Encouraging older players to give something back by helping at the younger players’ sessions
- Keeping kit prices very low to encourage everyone to wear the shirts
- Making communication with parents and players a priority
To support the ongoing sustainability of the club three young players have recently completed and passed their UKCC Level 1 coaching qualification. FastStep is proud to be a Premier Club and strives to create a safe but fun environment for members. FastStep can also boast to have as many girls in the Academy as boys, bucking the national trend for badminton and many other sports.