Get Inspired: How to get into Badminton

Fast Answers

Why get into badminton?

The almost weightless racquet is liberating - imagine you're swatting a really pesky fly for an hour or so!

Who is it for?

Everyone: pensioners represent their country internationally, while young kids play for fun in back gardens.

Is there a cheap option?

Equipment can be relatively cheap, and a lot of sport centres and clubs also rent for a nominal fee.

What if I want a proper workout?

It can be taxing. Find a tough opponent for a full-body workout that tests your agility and stamina.

Can I take it to another level?

Join a local club and train hard to develop, then enter a tournament to see just how good you are!

Is there a disability option?

There are many inclusive clubs across the UK where you can train and play with other para-athletes.

Is there a family option?

A low cost kids' badminton sets can be used by the whole family - then you can work on your skills together.

Badminton is quite unique. You only have to look at the shuttlecock, a feathered or plastic projectile with aerodynamic properties that makes it fly differently from the balls used in most racquet sports. Because its flight is affected by wind, competitive badminton is played indoors. But badminton is also played outdoors as a casual recreational activity, often as a garden or beach game. So what are you waiting for? It's fast, dynamic, and over half a million people every week play it in the UK. Contact your national badminton association for information on how you can get started - in England,  Wales,  Scotland  and Northern Ireland. 

Ways to play

Badminton

You can play in a sports hall, or a school, leisure centre or social club even. You can also play outdoors - no court or net required - so long as the weather isn't too rough! Physically, it can be an energetic or light workout. Either way, your body will be leaping, lunging, twisting, turning and stretching.

If you're enjoying badminton and looking to make a bigger commitment, join a club. Most cater for social and competitive players at junior and senior level. Here are your club locators: in England,  Wales,  Scotland  and Northern Ireland.  If you want to start casually, try a pay-as-you-play scheme. To find out where you can do this in England,  or contact your local club elsewhere in the country.

Para-Badminton

Para-Badminton

Para-Badminton is blooming - if you can pick up a racquet, you can play. It's been around for years, evolving in a variety of categories and competitions - wheelchair, learning disabilities, physical disabilities (upper and lower body), dwarf, hearing impaired disabilities, 'transplant' players. Wherever you live in the UK you can find inclusive clubs, local tournaments and community coaching opportunities. Visit the site relevant to where you live in Wales,  England,  Scotland  and Northern Ireland. 

Juniors

SmashUp!

Badminton is officially the fastest racket sport in the world with the shuttle often travelling faster than a Formula 1 car - tell that to the kids! Many clubs offer coaching sessions designed to teach children to basics on the game in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. In addition to the physical benefits - improved coordination, balance, agility and speed - badminton can boost a child's self-esteem and help develop their communication skills. Use the club locater in your area to find a local kids session. Teenagers in England can also try the Smash Up!  scheme where mates and music playlists are key ingredients.

Coaching

Coach talking to player

Whether you have played extensively in the past or just have a keen interest in helping others and nourishing talent, coaches are vital. So why not become one! In Northern Ireland  you can find out what qualifications you will need to become a coach. In Wales  you'll find monthly hints and tips for coaches and a register of qualified coaches in your region. If you're based in Scotland  have a look at Coaches Corner, which offers an abundance of coaching resources and key contacts. Badminton England  offers advice on how to become a coach, a list of registered coaches and how the accreditation and assessment procedure works. Sports Coach UK  can also steer you in the right direction no matter where you are in the country.

Volunteering

Volunteers

You won't regret volunteering. Opportunities encompass working within local clubs on an ad hoc basis, regularly helping run a league or committee, or being part of a major event. However you choose to assist - it could even be as simple as making a few cups of tea - you can be part of an incredible work force, learning along the way while having fun (and perhaps even making some lifelong friends). Find out about volunteering opportunities in Scotland  , Wales  , England  and Northern Ireland  . Join In UK  can also help you find a club that needs your hands on attention.

Aspire to be like: Gail Emms

Inspire to be like Gail Emms

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into badminton near you.

2. Find your local club in England,  Wales,  Scotland  or Northern Ireland. 

3. Share your story  and inspire others.

Are you inspired to try badminton? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,  visiting us on Facebook  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.