Badminton England’s Racketpack Tour visited Suffolk on Wednesday 30th October 2019. The Ipswich festival, held at Ipswich School Sports Centre, Rushmere, was a brilliant success engaging 13 local primary schools and 128 year 3 and 4 pupils. As part of their involvement all participants received a free T-shirt and goodies.
The Racketpack programme is Badminton England’s primary school programme which aims at providing younger children with their first experience of badminton. The sessions are delivered in a fun and engaging way and the festivals provide a great opportunity to show what the programme is all about. The event was led by Community Badminton director, Julie Bradbury, who has a strong association to badminton having previously who won a Commonwealth gold medal in the sport, amongst other very impressive achievements.
The success of the event was also down to the fantastic Sports Leaders from Northgate High School – they were a credit to the school and the leadership programme.
Jenna Tiley, National Programme Manager for Badminton England said of the event "It was such a fun atmosphere and clear the children were all engaged and enjoying themselves! I’ve already highlighted to our Head of Development how good it was and the impact it will hopefully have."
One school commented "Thank you to everyone involved today. It was a great festival. It was lovely being able to select children who may not always cope so well in other competitions / festivals for various reasons."
As a follow up to the festival a Racketpack teacher training workshop is being organised for the New Year and this will lead in to a festival targeted at years 5 and 6. With the teachers inspired by what they saw the aim is to encourage and support schools to embed badminton delivery back at their school settings through curriculum and/or extracurricular activity.