Badminton proves to be a smash hit for young and old!

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As the fastest racket sport in the world, badminton is no stranger to attracting bumper crowds and millions of enthusiastic participants.

Team GB travel to Tokyo next summer looking to clinch their first Olympic gold since the sport was introduced into the Olympic programme in 1992. 

Badminton England share their favourite Olympic memories, goals for 2021 and top tips for taking to the court and smashing everything that’s served your way. 

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What are your hopes for the 2021 Games? 

We are looking forward to the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. We will qualify players in all five disciplines – Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge in particular will be aiming to improve their fantastic medal winning performance in Rio.  

Badminton will also be making its debut at the Paralympics which is really exciting. We have very strong medal prospects with Jack Shephard and Dan Bethell and if Krysten Coombs and Martin Rooke can qualify, they will go with medal aspirations as well.   

What would you say has been badminton’s greatest Olympic moment? 

The greatest moment in British badminton history came in 2004, when Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson won Olympic silver in Athens and came so close to that elusive gold medal having been 12-9 up in the final game.  

There have been many other historic achievements at the Olympics. Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge won bronze in the men’s doubles at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Jo Goode and Simon Archer won our first ever medal in 2000.

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Who are badminton’s biggest stars? 

Gail Emms and Nathan Robertson are our most successful athletes in the Olympic era, but we have had lots of success at World, European and Commonwealth levels over the years. 

Internationally, the two biggest stars were Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei, who are national heroes in their respective countries. Their men’s singles final at London 2012 was watched by more people worldwide than Usain Bolt winning the 100m!  

For next year, watch out for defending women’s champion, Carolina Marin and Indian superstars, Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu. 

Who is badminton ideal for? 

Everyone! Badminton is a great sport for all ages and abilities. The game is enjoyed at all levels whether that is a game of outdoor badminton in your garden or local park with family and friends, or winning Olympic medals like our men’s doubles pair of Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis. 

Aspire to be like Toby Penty 

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What do I need to get started? 

If you have someone in mind to play with, all you need are rackets, a shuttlecock and a badminton court. You can contact your local village hall, community centre, sports centre or local school to book a badminton court, or you can search and book courts using our activity finder. 

Badminton England has a variety of programmes to help you get started ranging from fun, social badminton for adult beginners at our No Strings sessions to inclusive court time opportunities for players with disabilities and a choice of welcoming junior and adult badminton clubs. For players looking to improve their game, Badminton England also has a Coach Finder tool enabling you to search and contact qualified coaches. 

With the fantastic summer weather we’ve been experiencing recently, we would also recommend looking at our outdoor badminton resources so you can get playing as soon as possible, and browsing our on demand videos so you can learn some top tips from the professionals and get match ready. 

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How do I find my local club? 

For players looking to join a local club, Badminton England has an online activity finder enabling people to search for local playing opportunities. Badminton England also has a dedicated team of Relationship Managers that support badminton development across each of the counties who will be able to support you in finding a local badminton club, or be able to help you set up local activity if there are currently no badminton opportunities in your area.