Badminton Life

Scotland Expands Talent Search Across Borders

Next month's Japan Open Super Series event is normally one of the most popular tournaments in the world.

Badminton is popular in Scotland but not so much in the Borders area, where there are small pockets of interest in towns such as Duns, Jedburgh and Hawick.

However, Badminton Scotland, which governs the game north of the English border, is trying to spread the gospel by holding a badminton carnival in the Galashiels area in the Borders for the first time.

According to the Southern Reporter news outlet, the body is trying to take advantage of a revival in the popularity of the sport.

The carnival is aimed at students from primary four to secondary one and is similar to five other events held in other parts of the country.

Badminton Scotland's coaching development officer David Forbes said the body is hoping to expand their net in order to capture talent from beyond the sport's traditional strongholds.

"The project has been running for a number of years, but this will be the first time in the Borders and we're really excited about that," he was quoted as saying.

"There are a lot of good players coming out of the Borders at the moment, so it seems like a good time to help boost the sport there.

"The carnival is a participation event so you don't have to have played before - it's just for anyone to come along and give it a shot.

"It's a chance to develop skills, but also to have a lot of fun and ultimately the kids go out the door with a big smile on their face. The whole thing is aimed at trying to get kids excited about the sport."

The report said that BS want to create more badminton clubs in the area, which have been absent largely because of the lack of qualified coaches.

However, in a major effort to redress the problem, nine players have already completed UKCC level coaching courses, which will enable them to pass on their knowledge to kids.

John Peters, convenor of Borders Badminton, was quoted as saying: "Badminton has been pretty active in the Borders for a while, but it tends to be in isolated areas and there's currently only two fully-qualified coaches in the region - myself and Pete Hardie at Duns.

"But recent changes in coaching qualifications - aimed at bringing them in line with other sports - have attracted more people and over the summer we had nine from different towns in the Borders, which will really help keep things going at the grass roots level."

"There's lots of little clubs popping up around the region."

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