Melton Old Grammarians Badminton Club is aiming to attract a new generation of players by ensuring the sports rivals the mainstream on the school curriculum.
Over the past two years, OGs coaches Linda Hallam and Trevor Sanders have held regular badminton classes within Melton area schools as well as festivals for pupils from across the region as they bid to strengthen the numbers coming into the sport.
The club hold coaching sessions on Monday nights during the winter at both junior and intermediate level, and this year’s end-of-season tournament saw 20 juniors compete at Long Field Academy.
Club Captain Neil Hunt said: “It is great to see so many of the younger generation enjoying badminton and the ongoing improvement in standard we are witnessing is highly encouraging.
“At a time when they have an ever-widening range of leisure activities to choose from, we are delighted to see numbers playing badminton continuing to rise.
“The ambitious programme we are looking to put in place for next season will ensure even greater numbers can participate at Old Grammarians.
“The chance to get proper coaching from Linda and Trevor at an early age is a great opportunity for juniors.”
Plans for the 2018/19 season include junior coaching sessions at Long Field Academy on Mondays from 6pm, with intermediate coaching following at 7pm ahead of the normal club night at 8pm.
Linda believes starting junior coaching earlier will allow OGs to cope with the increasing number of younger players.
“It is our intention to try and build ever-closer links with Melton schools to ensure badminton is competing against other sports and leisure activities on the school timetable,” she said.
“We are hopeful we can increase our coaching capacity and offer a meaningful badminton programme to schools, parents and children across the Melton area.
“Having established such an encouraging base, the next challenge is to further increase numbers and get as many youngsters as possible coming through to senior level and participating in our normal club nights.
“We now have a seamless transition from beginner through to regular member at OGs, and we will make every attempt to deliver even greater opportunities for junior and intermediate players next season.”
* For more information about the junior and intermediate coaching programmes or what Melton OGs can offer, call Linda Hallam on 07729 036928 or email firstname.lastname@example.org