Badminton Life

Scots Kids Have Fun in Perth

If they can encourage and inspire a potential star of tomorrow then that is great news but it just as important to provide a form of exercise and fun activity for the children who may not have any other sporting outlet in their life. Many teachers are fully aware of the benefits of badminton for young children and this has been shown by the Bank of Scotland Primary Sportshall Challenge. The competition is a series of fun events loosely based upon the skills that are used when playing badminton and with over 1400 children taking part; it was deemed a huge success.

The Bells Sports Centre in Perth was the venue for the competition and over 150 schools from Scotland took part. This was whittled down to 10 teams for the final where there was strong representation from teams from Lanarkshire. Gartsherrie Primary School, based in Coatbridge, managed to finish third overall in a tremendous performance by the youngsters.

The school are rightly proud of their achievements on the day, particularly given the tough opposition they were facing. Coatbridge is not one of the more affluent areas in Scotland but their performance proves that sporting achievements can be obtained from any starting position.

They were also joined in the final 10 by the South Lanarkshire representative, St. Marks from Hamilton, who also battled bravely to earn a high finish. Although there was as much of an emphasis on fun as opposed to great sporting achievement, there is no doubt that the youngsters on show had a great day and many will look to take up badminton as a sport in the future.

Last years champions Battlefield Primary School from the South side of Glasgow proved that their triumph was no fluke as they retained their trophy with a fair amount of style. The day also featured a question and answer session with Gordon Thomson, a leading Scottish badminton player. This session was opened to pupils and parents and Thomson was quizzed on how he broke into badminton and offered a lot of advice for the youngsters.

Thomson also hung around to hand out the prizes and medals, where he was assisted by Leon Douglas, the Scottish badminton president. This representation from the high reaches of the game indicates how much Scottish badminton is getting behind the development of the game in Scotland.

With so many different opportunities and past-times for children to take, there is no doubt that it is getting harder to get them into sporting activity, certainly much harder than it used to be. Thirty or more years ago, children in Scotland would spend every night and all weekend playing in the streets and this was shown in the number of sporting heroes the country has produced.

This has changed with children able to have fun in so many other ways but there has been a concerted effort to get children back playing sports more often. It is driven by the growing weight problem of children but anything that gets more kids playing sport, including badminton, can only be a good thing.

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