Badminton England has unveiled leisure operator Places for People as the first ever Official Leisure Partner in a groundbreaking move for the sport.
The partnership will significantly enhance the badminton experience and court time delivery for visitors enjoying 120 Places for People leisure facilities across England.
It will see clubs, players, families and tournament organisers benefit from improved and exclusive court booking terms and priority access to facilities. Best practise will be shared by way of improved access to value added membership services and benefits.
A joint funded badminton development manager – the first of its kind - will be appointed to work across Places for People facilities with a national remit to drive even greater levels of grass roots badminton within local communities.
Alongside the benefits that will be felt by clubs and tournament organisers, Badminton England initiatives, such as the No Strings Badminton and Racket Pack programme for under 11s, will carry heightened importance in Places for People’s timetable.
The partnership is a key milestone in Discover Badminton - Badminton England’s new eight-year strategy to reinforce the grassroots of the sport while opening new, high quality opportunities to play the sport.
The agreement also sees Wycombe Leisure Centre – one of Places for People’s flagship facilities - host the 2017 English National Badminton Championships in September.
Adrian Christy, chief executive for Badminton England, said: “Supporting the growth of the grass roots of our sport is fundamental to our new strategy and the partnership with Places for People is a significant move for English badminton; for clubs, players and members of both organisations.
“Working more closely with key national leisure operators is so important to our future growth and success and Places for People are the first of several partnerships we will be announcing.
“Almost one million adults play badminton monthly across England and we want to firmly establish it as the nation’s favourite racket sport - to do this, making badminton even more accessible is pivotal. Setting stronger partnerships with key leisure operators will ensure high quality court time delivery for those who have a close affinity to the sport as well as acting as inspiration to those who are discovering badminton all over again or for the first time.”
Sandra Dodd, chief executive at Places for People Leisure, said: “Our mission is to ‘create active places and healthy people’ and our appointment as the first ever Official Leisure Partner to Badminton England absolutely reinforces this.
“We continually invest time and effort into programmes that are designed to engage local communities and maximise the opportunities to play badminton.
“Places for People were amongst the first to introduce No Strings Badminton some seven years ago and through this new official partnership with Badminton England we are taking a long-established relationship and making it stronger for the benefit of badminton.”