A NEW badminton club, Kirklees Independent 2, is up and running in Huddersfield.
It is being run at Royds Hall Sports Centre on Tuesdays and is aimed primarily at social badminton initially.
Huddersfield Jays junior coach Hayley Smith explained: “Following the phenomenal success of the Sunday morning sessions at the Huddersfield Sports Centre, I have teamed up with Royds Hall Sports Centre manager, Lesley Bates, to provide another new badminton session.
“Lesley has made a commitment to support the development of badminton in the area by providing regular court time for a social club.
“Royds Hall already houses the Huddersfield League club of that name, who play on Tuesday evenings.
“The new session will play before the league club and could be an opportunity to capitalise on the possible amalgamation of social and competitive badminton.”
Sessions, which started two days ago, run from 5.30pm to 7.30pm each Tuesday and are the same format as the Sunday Kirklees Independent Badminton Club – with social play including coaching tips and advice from resident coaches Hayley Smith and Graham Howe.
“Kirklees Independent 2 is planned to be the next extension of social clubs, enabling the growth of badminton in Huddersfield,” added Hayley.
“Support for the new session has already been expressed by players and the early-evening slot caters for those who cannot make Sunday mornings and for the players who want prime-time social badminton in a friendly, fun environment.”
She believes there is a big need for people to be able to play badminton socially, rather than just competitively in the Huddersfield League.
“I have a passion to develop badminton and to grow participation within Kirklees,” added Hayley.
“I aim to get the profile of badminton raised and have some more of the Kirklees players’ talent recognised, as I am sure there are people who don’t even know they have a badminton talent yet.
“I want to be able to provide the facilities and player pathways for them to become elite players and follow in the footsteps of Huddersfield’s England representatives, like Marcus Ellis and Sarah Bok.
“For those who just want to play, that is great and will also be catered for as I have to address the needs of all the players.
“It was identified from the Open Day in September that there is a huge requirement for social play rather than competitive.
“By meeting the requirements of the player I hope to encourage and provide confidence to social players, who may then decide to transit into the competitive clubs within the Huddersfield League.”