badminton mencapA group of 12 people with learning disabilities and volunteers from Haringey Mencap have helped pilot a new sporting project with Black Arrows Badminton Club.

The initiative has been set up by Mencap Sport, Special Olympics GB and BADMINTON England to create more opportunities for people with a learning disability to participate in badminton – recreationally and 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."

Ian Carpenter, national sport manager for Mencap, said: "It's fantastic to see that through our positive partnership with BADMINTON England, people with a learning disability are getting the opportunity to have a go at badminton. Our on-going work means people with a learning disability will be able to play badminton on a regular basis and also have the opportunity to play competitively. What’s more, our Learning Disability Awareness in Sport workshops will enable coaches and volunteers from local badminton clubs to develop their knowledge and skills.”

Further reading: Good sports - encouraging those with learning and physical disabilities to become more active

The pilot project, which was launched on July 18, will run for eight weeks with discussions already in progress to offer regular participation opportunities after the project has finished.