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Badminton England celebrates the success of local Inclusion Champion at Newbury's St Bartholomew's School

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A Newbury school is being hailed as a successful example of how Inclusion Champions can have a positive impact on their local communities.

Last year, Badminton England launched an Inclusion Champions programme, to create role models to champion and promote badminton within their local community and as part of the programme it is working with Women in Sport to increase the numbers of women at all levels of the game in England.

The organisation visited St Bartholomew’s recently to film the school’s girls badminton club, which is being hailed as an example of how Inclusion Champions can have an impact in local communities, ensuring everyone can access and enjoy badminton regardless of their gender.

The badminton club at St Bart's School with coach Malcolm Taylor
The badminton club at St Bart's School with coach Malcolm Taylor

The club was set up as a new initiative in September 2021 and is run by Malcolm Taylor, Inclusion Champion and a level 2 badminton coach.

He said: “It is great to have the club recognised by Badminton England. I just wanted to open badminton up to all.

"Twenty-six girls attend the club on a regular basis and many more have come and tried the sport. The last tournament the school entered they had three times the number of students they could fit on the school bus!”

Mrs Leach, PE Teacher at St Bart’s added: “We are so impressed with Malcolm’s passion and desire to coach badminton. He has such a great rapport with the students and the club is simply growing from strength to strength.

"It was great fun to have Badminton England visit the school and capture the spirit of the club.”

Mr Taylor, who runs the club at no charge to the school, has had a huge success in encouraging KS3 girls to try the sport.

Women make up 51 per cent of the general population of England but, Badminton England said this statistic is not currently reflected in the volunteering, playing or coaching membership of the organisation.

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