Walking Badminton

Rallying – the very essence of all the racket sports – and other games as well
July 9, 2017

There are many less active “walking” varieties of dynamic sports which have sprung up relatively recently, the most long-standing probably being walking football which is thriving nationwide with hundreds of venues and teams. This tends to be male-dominated just as walking netball attracts mainly, if not exclusively, women. There are of course no walking golf/bowls/darts/snooker variants!

Walking badminton (virtually unknown and untried at the moment) could easily be played by men and women and as a result is a much more appealing and attractive proposition. It could prove extremely popular and become widespread, once certain general principles and activities are established.

Who could participate in walking badminton?

  • Over 50s
  • Those with limited mobility
  • Overweight and obese people
  • People with disabilities and/or rehab groups
  • Nervous novices not used to activity

Why would people wish to participate?

  • Enjoyment
  • Satisfaction and increased confidence and self-esteem through learning a new skill
  • Health reasons (e.g. to lose weight, gain increased flexibility, improve general health etc). Patients could be referred to a group by GPs, practice nurses etc
  • Make friends in a new, supportive group and combat loneliness for those living alone or feeling isolated
  • Gateway sport for subsequent more strenuous activity – not necessarily badminton

What kind of rallying activities would be undertaken

  • Individual keepy-uppy, initially using plusballs
  • Rallies against a wall using plusballs
  • Co-operative rallies in pairs and small groups using plusballs
  • Co-operative rallies using fleece (woollen) balls
  • Co-operative rallies using slow shuttlecocks
  • Once the majority of the group can maintain a rally then a group could move on to more recognisable and competitive badminton activities. For more ideas consult Racket Skills for Beginners – Twenty Lesson Plans

What kind of equipment would be necessary?

  • Mini-rackets, wooden bats, plusballs, fleece (woollen) balls, slow (splayed out) shuttles, normal shuttles, pop up nets, throw down lines. (Plusballs supply most of these items).

Where could sessions take place?

  • For early sessions (and perhaps for the duration of a complete course) a badminton court is NOT necessary – just adequate space in:
  • Sports halls and activity studios
  • School gyms and halls
  • Community centres and church halls
  • Residential nursing homes
  • Spaces in hospitals, physiotherapy centres etc

What elements should be coached?

  • Correct grip
  • Importance of racket angle
  • Service action
  • Hitting consistency
  • Prolonging rallies
  • Types of hitting – push, tap, whip etc
  • Backhand/Forehand
  • Simple footwork and movement – forwards, sideways, backwards, lead foot etc

Who could deliver such programmes? 

  •  Badminton coaches
  •  Sports and Activity Co-ordinators/Leaders
  •  Experienced players keen to start a group
  • Fitness professionals with an interest in coaching racket sports

*Guidance would need to be given to these facilitators.

What happens next?

We will assess the viability of walking badminton as an activity for area/regional/national introduction and take-up, based on results and feedback from pilot schemes and experimental sessions.