Together with badminton players of all ages and abilities, Sport England joined BADMINTON England on court in Twickenham to celebrate the success of ‘No Strings Badminton’, the social pay and play initiative working to get more people playing sport.
Having asked individuals what they wanted from the sport and implementing changes, demand for the ‘No Strings Badminton’ is now at an all-time high, with over 500 leisure facilities across England signed up to host the fun filled initiative, with half them within last year.
Following the launch of the programme in September 2010, players have hit the courts more than 690,000 times - enough to fill the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Stadium seven and a half times.
Players have enjoyed more than 55,750 weekly sessions, played over 353 million shots and burned more than 230 million calories on court all over England.
“I am delighted that No Strings Badminton is going from strength to strength due to the way in which BADMINTON England is listening to consumers and offering what they want from sport,” said Lisa O’Keefe, Director of Sport at Sport England. Although 15.5million people are now playing sport every week in England, sports bodies need to continue to work hard to offer fun and engaging programmes if numbers are to continue to rise.”
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England added: “The No Strings Badminton programme has gone from a gem of an idea to an innovative and sector leading leisure activity that encapsulates everything that is great and good about recreational badminton for all ages and abilities.
“It has proven to be both a major success for our partners and a new set of loyal, social players and will continue to be pivotal to our participation plans over the next four year funding cycle.
Andrew Reid-Smith, Director of Sport as St Mary’s University College, who hosted this week’s celebratory event, said: “No Strings Badminton is living proof that national governing bodies can open up so many new and exciting opportunities for players and partners when it comes to grassroots sport.
“BADMINTON England has really taken time to make sure the No Strings Badminton initiative is a productive and rewarding court-time offer for all involved and the success they are seeing today, with 500 facilities hosting sessions, is testament to the efforts they have put in to transform the casual badminton market.”