Four young badminton players are celebrating their success in a new national competition.
The four players from Ryton Badminton Club at Thorpe Academy were picked to compete as part of a regional team in the National Junior Leagues Finals held at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.
The four boys, Billy Lapworth aged 13, Daniel Armstrong, 13, Louie Abraham, 13 and Jude Lapworth, 11, and their team eventually came fourth in the tournament, narrowly missing out on a medal.
Louie Abraham said, “The national junior league final was challenging, but a great experience. I started playing badminton because my friend told me about Ryton Badminton Club. There is a great atmosphere at the club. Our coach encourages us to be the best we can be, and beyond.”
Coach Claire Lapworth established the club as a social place for junior players to get started in the sport and also to take part in competitive play.
She said, “I’m gutted that we just missed out on a medal but it was a fantastic event. I’m over the moon with the club, there is always a great atmosphere. The juniors have represented the school at various events and tournaments, however the main focus is still on the fun that everyone has at the main sessions.”
The club was established in 2014 with support from Tyne & Wear Sport as part of the Satellite Club programme.
Chris Kirkland, faculty lead for PE and Community Sport at Thorp Academy said, "The relationship between Ryton Badminton Academy and Thorp Academy has gone from strength to strength. Working with Tyne & Wear Sport we were able to further expand our community offer by providing a base for this high quality and popular club. Though the hard work and dedication of its coaches the talent of our local youngsters have been able to flourish in its warm and friendly atmosphere."
Jade Mackie, club development manager at Tyne & Wear Sport said, “Our aim is to help more people to get active. The boys’ success after just a short time of playing badminton is proof that by bringing sport to young people in their own community setting, it can increase the likelihood of participation. It is great to see the club going from strength to strength.”
Satellite clubs - the £49 million National Lottery funded Sport England initiative - are extensions, or outposts of community sports clubs which run out of a separate venue, usually a secondary school or college and specifically target the 11-25 age group. Visit www.tynewearsport.org/satellite-clubs for more information.