BADMINTON England says Sport needs to change to appeal to teens

In order to reach out to young people sports organizations will need to alter their attitudes if they really are going to make contact with teens. The unfortunate truth is that young people are not interested in their parents traditional PE.

BADMINTON England who are the governing body of the sport in the UK want to get young people interested in PE. They believe that their ground breaking initiative will get teens playing badminton. And they may well be right as so far they have managed to entice tens of thousands of young people to become active.

The initiative – called Smash Up! – is a very fresh take on playing badminton, aimed at those 13-16 year olds who wouldn’t normally take part in sport. The branded sessions have music and playlists, no dress codes and no formal coaching. The trained ‘activators’ who deliver the sessions are not PE teachers, and the sessions are not lessons.

Over 800 schools and tens of thousands of teenagers are already involved in the scheme which launched just six months ago. Smash Up! has now been nominated for this year’s National Lottery Awards.

Julia Strong from BADMINTON England said: “There is a need to think and do things differently if we are to help more teenagers to be active. Over 28% of children in England* are overweight, and just as importantly many young people miss out on the benefits of an active lifestyle on their mental health, confidence and happiness.”

“Sports and games should be great fun but by age 12 or 13 many have been put off formal sport. We need to listen to them. We designed Smash Up! together with young people and that made a difference. We are nominated for a national award which we would love to win on behalf of the thousands of young people involved – to celebrate them for getting active and enjoying it.”