On 16 March while at the 2018 Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, we signed a partnership agreement with Badminton England in a bid to get more people in England playing badminton.
The partnership, running from March 2018, will see Badminton England invest to support us in offering a more visible and enhanced badminton experience across our circa 40 centres with courts across England.
The three year partnership will see badminton highlighted to local communities, with encouragement and support offered to those who would like to try out the sport; while novice players, families, frequents participants, clubs, and tournament organisers will all be catered for and benefit from improved court scheduling and resource.
The organisations will also work together to jointly fund Badminton Development Coordinators with a remit to drive even greater levels of grassroots badminton within local communities.
Alongside the above benefits, Badminton England initiatives; such as ‘No Strings Badminton’; a low-cost way for adults to play and ‘Essentials Badminton’; a friendly coaching course to help beginners get started, will carry heightened importance in our timetables to support ‘Discover Badminton’ – Badminton England’s new eight-year strategy to reinforce the grassroots of the sport whilst opening new, high quality opportunities to play the nation’s favourite racket sport.
It is our priority to support the communities in which we operate to be more active and badminton is a great mechanism. It can be played by people of all ages and abilities, is good fun and has a strong legacy in the UK after good performances in Rio by team GB.Mike Worsnop, Freedom Leisure Head of Business Development & Active Communities,
Julia Strong, Director of Development and Competition, Badminton England, says: “Supporting the growth of the grassroots of our sport is fundamental to our new strategy, Discover Badminton, and the partnership with Freedom Leisure is a significant move for English badminton; for clubs, players and members of both organisations.
“Working more closely with key national leisure operators is so important to our future growth and success. Over one million adults play badminton monthly across England and we want to firmly establish it as the nation’s favourite racket sport – making badminton even more accessible is pivotal to this.
“Setting stronger partnerships with key leisure operators, such as Freedom Leisure, will ensure high quality court time delivery for those who have a close affinity to the sport as well as acting as inspiration to those who are discovering badminton all over again or for the first time.”
Mike Worsnop, Freedom Leisure Head of Business Development & Active Communities, says: “We are extremely happy to be working in partnership with Badminton England and for this valuable opportunity to grow resource and support the sport. We are looking forward to implementing integrated, group-wide initiatives to get more people playing badminton more often.
“It is our priority to support the communities in which we operate to be more active and badminton is a great mechanism. It can be played by people of all ages and abilities, is good fun and has a strong legacy in the UK after good performances in Rio by team GB.”