BADMINTON was singled out for special mention today when Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture Olympics, Media and Sport, outlined the sporting legacy Britain can achieve from London 2012 and revealed a £1bn Government investment in youth and grass-roots sport over the next five years.
Launching the Government’s new strategy for Youth Sport, the Minister said: “The Department of Heath committed nearly £6.5 million to embed Change4Life sports clubs in secondary schools and reach out to a further 4,500 primary schools. As a result already 10,000 more young people were playing badminton as a result of these clubs.”
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England, said: “I very much welcome the announcement made by the Secretary of State and BADMINTON England very much looks forward to playing its part in placing young people at the very heart of the sporting legacy.
“Our success in being a key partner in the Change4Life campaign demonstrates the appetite that exists among our clubs and local schools to ensure a smooth transition from school badminton to community clubs, where we have seen more than 10,000 young people experience badminton in school before going on to take up our sport on a regular basis.
“We are also delighted that Government have listened to our appeals to open up school sports facilities to the local community.
“At a time when there are enormous pressures on local authority sports provision, we have seen some significant pressure points around the country where local facilities are either closing or experiencing reduced operating hours.
“The move announced today will ensure that local facilities remain available for young people to ensure that their inspiration of this summer’s Games can translate into a local opportunity to either begin to fulfil their own dreams or take on a lifelong love of sport.
“Badminton enjoys tremendous success at school level with more than 96 per cent of secondary schools playing badminton and 21,000 young people entering the Center Parcs National Schools Championships from more than 1000 schools.
“The reason we have grown from 300 young people just a few years ago is because of the partnerships created at local level and the tremendous efforts of teachers, local organisers and volunteers. We very much look forward to building on this further.”