Shuttlecocks showered down at the National Sports Centre at the latest session of this year’s Sure Sports Primary School Programme.
More than 245 pupils in 28 teams took part in a mini badminton festival, held to introduce pupils to a range of sports in a fun environment throughout the school year.
Thursday’s event (16 November) was the culmination of a drive by badminton clubs, their coaches and qualified badminton leaders to raise the indoor racquet sport’s profile among island youngsters.
Regional taster sessions were held in high schools in the run-up to the event, which attracted entries from 21 primary schools.
Volunteers from high schools, University College Isle of Man and the IOM Badminton Association helped run what proved a logistical exercise.
Kerry Quayle, Badminton Development Officer at the Sports Development Unit said the afternoon was a great opportunity for youngsters to experience badminton, for some the first time in such a setting.
‘We hope the sport will prove a hit with some of the children – and they’ll want to come back for more, playing as a hobby or pursuing their interest within one of the local badminton clubs.’
‘In the run-up the NSC extravaganza, badminton leader courses were offered free in local high schools during the summer. When term began, schools had the opportunity to offer their own after-school badminton clubs.’
The Sure Sports Primary School Programme is run by Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR).
Encouraging activity among the young and increasing the number of children who regularly take part in sport are among targets in MSR’s Strategy for Sport 2014-2024.
Badminton followed on the heels of tag rugby, as the second sport included in the six event programme – with hockey, netball, kwik cricket and athletics to follow.
Sarah Jarvis, Marketing and PR Manager for Sure Isle of Man said:
‘Sure’s support of the Primary School Sports Programme allows hundreds of pupils at Manx schools the chance to take part in a range of sports.
‘Each year we have noticed that badminton is always incredibly popular. I think it’s great that it’s played indoors – always a good thing in our often inclement winter weather, as it encourages everyone to be brave and give it a go.’
For information on children and adults’ badminton, ring Kerry on 651572 or email Kerry.firstname.lastname@example.org