Aspire Badminton Club

Fastest Racket Sport

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Although Badminton can be fast it is also the easiest game to play for beginners, which is why there are over 500,000 people playing once per week in England, with many more enjoying a game throughout the year. Whatever your reason for playing, be it fitness, health, to compete or just for fun, it’s easy to play.

Badminton is a fast, dynamic Olympic (and Paralympic starting in Tokyo 2020) sport played on an indoor court using rackets and shuttlecocks (feather or synthetic). It is played as singles, doubles and mixed doubles and caters for all ages and abilities from beginner through to world-class players.

Early in 2019 the World Badminton Federation announced the development of AirBadminton. This is something the club will be keen to develop once it's fully launched.

Badminton is the fastest racket sport with sustained rallies at up to 300 mph, almost twice the speed of the fastest tennis serve! The Guinness World Record is 306.3 mph / 493 km/h!

Mental Health Improvements

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Badminton can help improve your wellbeing through:

  • The social interaction of a game to build confidence which results in positive feelings after a session on court
  • Helping reduce stress, anxiety and depression by taking your mind off everyday life
  • Improving concentration levels and helping you become more focused, alert and agile. Playing doubles requires good teamwork and awareness of what is going on around you
  • Engaging your brain in a positive way by thinking about what you’re doing - whether it’s deciding where to serve, reacting quickly to a smash, or where to stand on court
  • Increasing endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters – you can feel better after winning a particularly exciting rally
  • Playing the game resulting in you being more attentive, adjusted and improving your cardiovascular and neuro-humoral responses to mental stress.

Inclusive Club

Aspire Badminton Club was set up as a satellite club of Knebworth BC (in Hertfordshire), which has always been an inclusive club and was one of the first BADMINTON England Inclusive Clubs. Aspire BC is open to everyone and does not discriminate in any shape or form. We also provide free coaching within all our sessions to help new players integrate within the club and help existing players improve.

We have over fourteen years experience of working with minority groups, such as the disabled, deaf or hard of hearing, those with learning difficulties and those with special needs, including autism. For more information, please contact our Head Coach.

Premier Club / Clubmark Club

PremierClub

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Clubmark is a cross-sport quality accreditation for clubs. Premier Club is BADMINTON England's Clubmark standard. We believe it is vital that our club serves individuals well. We will:

  • Ensure the wellbeing of players whilst in our care
  • Encourage players to enjoy sport and active recreation to build a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Enable players to use their leisure time creatively
  • Allow players to optimise their talents and personal ability
  • Identify and support the development of talented players.

Child Protection Policy

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The Club places a high degree of importance on the protection of children who participate in the club programme. The Club is committed to ensuring that our young members are able to enjoy badminton in a safe environment.

The Club will:

  • Accept and operate within BADMINTON England's Child Protection Guidelines
  • Implement procedures to provide a duty of care for young people to safeguard their wellbeing and protect them from abuse
  • Respect and promote the rights, wishes and feelings of young people
  • Ensure that advice, guidance and training is available for all volunteers involved with the management of the Club
  • Adopt best practice to safeguard and protect young people from abuse and volunteers from false allegations
  • Require all members and visitors to abide by the Club’s Codes of Conduct and Equity Policy
  • Respond to all incidents of suspicious poor practice and allegations seriously, swiftly and appropriately
  • Report allegations or incidence of suspicious poor practice to the Club's Welfare Officer.

Photographs and Videos

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We will from time to time take photographs to promote our club. These may appear on our website, funding providers websites or in the local papers.

The Club may take video footage occasionally, for coaching purposes only, where we feel it will help a player. These will not be used outside of the coaching sessions. All footage will be deleted at the end of the session, unless the player (or their parent/guardian) gives permission for them to be kept.

We will ensure, where consent is not obtained, that people are not identifiable in any photograph or video. We will take all reasonable measures to ensure the images are used solely for the purposes for which they are intended. However we cannot guarantee this and take no responsibility for any consequences arising from publication or personal use.

Equity Policy

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The Club is committed to ensuring that equity is incorporated across all aspects of its development. In doing so it acknowledges and adopts the following Sport England definition of sports equity:

Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society.

The Club respects the rights, dignity and worth of every person and will treat everyone equally within the context of their sport, regardless of age, ability, gender, race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexuality or social/economic status.

The Club is committed to everyone having the right to enjoy their sport in an environment free from threat of intimidation, harassment and abuse. All Club members have a responsibility to oppose discriminatory behaviour and promote equality of opportunity. The Club will deal with any incidence of discriminatory behaviour seriously, according to the Club’s disciplinary procedures.

Codes of Conduct for Coaches and Helpers

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All club coaches and helpers are considered members of the Club and must behave properly at all times in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Members. The essence of good ethical conduct and practice is summarised below.

All club coaches and helpers must also:

  • Consider the wellbeing and safety of participants before the development of performance
  • Develop an appropriate working relationship with performers, based on mutual trust and respect
  • Make sure all activities are appropriate to the age, ability and experience of those taking part
  • Promote the positive aspects of the sport (e.g. fair play)
  • Display consistently high standards of behaviour and appearance
  • Follow all guidelines laid down by BADMINTON England and the Club
  • Hold appropriate, valid qualifications and insurance cover
  • Never exert undue influence over performers to obtain personal benefit or reward
  • Never condone rule violations, rough play or the use of prohibitive substances
  • Encourage participants to value their performances and not just their results
  • Encourage and guide participants to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour
  • Only take video and photos with permission of the player and/or parent/carer
  • Ensure another adult is present when reviewing videos.

Codes of Conduct for Members

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We are fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the well being of all our members. The Club believes that it is important that members, coaches, administrators and parents associated with the club should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the safety and welfare of others. Therefore, members are encouraged to be open in sharing any concerns or complaints they may have about any aspect of the club with the Welfare Officer or Head Coach.

As a member of the Club, you are expected to abide by the following code of conduct:

  • All members must respect the rights, dignity and worth of all participants regardless of age, gender, ability, race, cultural background or religious beliefs or sexual identity
  • All members must play fairly and show good sportsmanship at all times
  • All members must play within the rules and laws of badminton and respect officials and their decisions
  • All members should keep to agreed times for sessions
  • If having been selected for a competition or match, a member is going to be late or need to withdraw, they must inform the appropriate person immediately
  • All members must wear appropriate badminton sports clothing and ensure they have clean trainers for club sessions and competitions
  • All members must pay any fees for training and events promptly or by the due date
  • No member is permitted to take video or photos without the Club’s permission
  • Members must not use social or other electronic media to publicly criticise any other player, parent or official involved in the game of badminton or otherwise bring the sport into disrepute through inappropriate communications
  • Members are not permitted to smoke, consume alcohol or drugs of any kind whilst at the Club or whilst representing the Club. (Players who are required to take prescribed medicine must discuss this with the Club’s Head Coach.)

Codes of Conduct for Parents/Carers and Other Spectators

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We ask for help with our club in providing an atmosphere and culture that encourages fair play and promotes badminton. As such, the Club expects that all parents/carers and other spectators will follow these guidelines to:

  • Not interfere with games in play. If you are concerned about some aspect of the game/activity, please speak directly to the Head Coach. Please remember that our coach(es) are busy with all the players
  • Discourage unfair play and arguing with officials
  • Set a good example by recognising fair play and applauding good performances of all
  • Never punish or belittle a child for losing or making mistakes
  • Publicly accept officials' judgements
  • Use correct and proper language at all times
  • Treat fellow parents/carers and other spectators with respect
  • Not take video or photographs without the Club’s permission
  • Not use social or other electronic media to publicly criticise any other player, parent or official involved in the game of badminton or otherwise bring the sport into disrepute through inappropriate communications
  • Encourage and guide performers to accept responsibility for their own performance and behaviour.

In addition it is expected that all parents/carers will also:

  • Ensure their child has clean trainers and appropriate clothing to take part in sporting activities
  • Ensure your child’s fees are paid promptly by the due date
  • Encourage their child to learn the rules and play within them
  • Ensure your child arrives and is collected on time for club sessions and events
  • Help their child to recognise good performance, not just results
  • Never force their child to take part in sport
  • Support their child's involvement and help them to enjoy their sport.

Member Details

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Information is held on a card (and electronically) for each member/player, such as their contact details and medical conditions that may affect their participation. The cards are kept confidential and are accessible by the coach(es) attending each session. The card includes the following statement:

  • Aspire Badminton Club expects all members to show respect to all other members, helpers and coaches. The Club expects all members to play fairly and show good sportsmanship at all times.

Junior membership cards have to be signed by each player and a parent/guardian, which shows that they agree to this statement.

A register of attendance will be kept for all sessions and a visual safety check will be carried out before each session is run.

Both Junior and Adult sessions operate a waiting list when full and offer a place to those at the top of the list first.

First Aid

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Accidents are not always preventable, but we can reduce the risk through checking the hall for tripping / slipping hazards, warming up effectively and cooling down afterwards, as well as through on-court behaviour and shot practice. Our Head Coach can also provide strengthening tips aimed at preventing injuries.

By holding members medical and contact details, we can give the appropriate assistance or contact the right person in an emergency. Although our Head Coach is first-aid trained we generally use the sports centres' first aiders for main injuries.

Tournaments / Leagues

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The Club has a policy of supporting and coaching those who wish for more competition, outside of club sessions, through tournaments, leagues and county squads. However, we respect a player's wishes to just play within club sessions. We have had a number of county standard players who have decided not to play outside of the club. Equally, we have also had a number of players go on to achieve great success at county, national level and international level (through para-badminton).

Prior to a player's tournament we will aim to provide them with suitable practice and coaching to aid their success.

Our Head Coach was also involved in managing a number of teams in the Herts Youth Games, where the ten districts within the county compete across all sports, including badminton. The teams were very successful winning 3 golds, a silver and a bronze over 5 years.

Our parabadminton players have achieved numerous medals, including former player Martin Rooke picture here, who is aiming for the Paralympics games in 2020.

Clothing / Equipment

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Clothing

Please ensure you wear clean trainers and appropriate sports clothing. You can wear any colour or all colour you like. Please note running shoes do not have enough grip and are therefore not suitable footware.

Equipment

The Club will provide rackets of a suitable size, for anyone who needs them, according to their height and ability.

The club plays with Yonex 600 plastic shuttles.

We can restring rackets and replace the grips at a much lower price than the shops.

The Club has a deal with a local supplier for purchasing good quality Ashaway rackets at a discounted price.

For more details, contact the Head Coach.

Knebworth BC

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Knebworth BC has been in existence since the 1930s. The Club ceased playing for a few years during the Second World War, and continued up to the summer of 2019.

Our Head Coach used to live and play badminton in Knebworth Village hall. In 2003, he became a badminton coach, initially to recruit new players to the club. One thing led to another and he started coaching children from the age of 4 upwards (see picture of our first ever children's session). Shortly afterwards he was asked to coach adults with learning disabilities, which led on to coaching both children and adults with special needs and in the end any disability.

In 2004 the Club opened up more coaching sessions at two locations in Hatfield. By 2006 the Club had also outgrown the village hall and so we started playing at Gosling Sports Park as well. It wasn't until 2012 that we finally left Knebworth and Hatfield, and just played out of Gosling. As we evolved it seemed appropriate to keep the name, so that people would still know who we were and what the Club stands for.

In February 2017 we created a satellite club in Cambridge to mirror the structure of Knebworth BC. The new club is called Aspire Badminton Club.