Wednesday, December 17, 2008

BADMINTON England scoop £20.8million Sport England award

BADMINTON England today took a giant step towards delivering its promise to develop the game at club level like never before after receiving a Sport England award of £20.8m spread over the next four years.

The funding, which is an increase of £7.5million on the previous four-year period, comes just two weeks after receiving £8.6m from UK Sport's Elite Funding Programme geared to producing Team GB badminton medallists at London 2012.

The Sport England award is crucial in helping BADMINTON England achieve its goals in getting more people playing the sport at school, club and community level as well as at the Elite end of the game.

Just a week ago badminton emerged as the most-played racket sport in Sport England's Active People Survey. Now BADMINTON England have the chance to push even further forward.

BADMINTON England Chief Executive Adrian Christy received the news of the award while in Warsaw for last night's international clash between England and Poland. Before travelling home he said: "This award is great news for us and couldn't have come at a beter time.

"We have clearly been able to demonstrate the growth of English badminton in the last couple of years and we will never have a better opportunity to attract more people to our sport and get them playing what is a great game.

"We have the European Team Championships in Liverpool in February 2009 and the European Individual Championships in Manchester in April 2010. Then comes the World Championships in London in 2011 in the build-up to the Olympics in 2012.

"If those major events alongside our commitment to grass-roots badminton don't motivate people to take up our sport then nothing will - which is why over the next four years BADMINTON England will be working like never before at increasing the number of people playing badminton.

"But we cannot achieve our aims without getting more coaches into the game and into clubs and their local community. Neither can we without supporting our volunteers at club and county level. This will be a team effort that will make it happen.

"We are determined to make people appreciate that BADMINTON England isn't just about the sport at Elite level but about the development of the game at grass roots as a healthy activity for players of all ages and all standards.

"That means putting the focus on schools and junior players, club players, veterans and disability badminton for everyone and I am delighted that Sport England have shown such faith in us."

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