Badminton sessions a smash with with Mencap members


MEMBERS of Haringey Mencap took part in the first of what is hoped to be regular badminton sessions on Friday 18th July .

The 12 adults with learning disabilities and volunteers from the charity donned their sports gear for the session with Black Arrows Badminton Club.

Black Arrows, which is based in Stoke Newington, works with schools, colleges, universities, charities, councils and other organisations, including Arsenal Football Club, to provide badminton sessions across London.

Henry T. Gaspard, who is head coach at the club, said he hoped that the session would be the first of many.

He said: “As a club we have been actively involved in promoting, encouraging and delivering badminton playing opportunities for disabled people, working in close partnership with the Elfrida Society for the past three years.

“Our programme is expanding and this new pilot project with Mencap Haringey will create another local venue in north London where local disabled people can get to play the sport of badminton, learn new skills, have fun, and make new friends in a safe fun environment.

“We are hoping that this session can be established as an ongoing club session which is much needed in Haringey.”

The session certainly proved a hit with Haringey Mencap members with one, Herald, saying that he jumped at the chance to play.

He said: “I have played badminton before but not for many years. When I heard about the sessions I was interested straight away. It’s a good session because it gives me the chance to play badminton and build my skills.”

The initiative was set up by Mencap Sport, Special Olympics GB and Badminton England to offer more opportunities for people with a learning disability to play badminton competitively.

Andy Heffer, director of sports and development for Special Olympics GB said: “We’re very excited by the start of this new project. We know that a lot of people with a learning disability play badminton recreationally, but relatively few make the transition into coaching and competition and this new partnership will help to address this.”

For more information or to get involved in an upcoming session in Haringey, call Melanie Lampert, learning disability sport advisor for Mencap Sport and Special Olympics GB, on 07432 636 637 or email melanie.lampert@mencap.org.uk“>melanie.lampert@mencap.org.uk

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