Scottish Open attracts 4000 schoolchildren to Big Hit Festival

The final countdown to the Scottish Open Grand Prix is well under way with exactly a week to go before Scotland’s top badminton players prepare to take on some of the best players from Europe and Asia at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

The world’s third oldest international Open tournament has once again attracted a quality entry, especially as it is the official test event for next summer’s TOTAL BWF World Championships to be held in the same Emirates Arena as the Grand Prix, which starts next Wednesday.

But there is more to the Scottish Open than a major badminton tournament as BADMINTONscotland also focuses on encouraging youngsters to take up the sport as well as offering top-quality education to aspiring coaches.

Almost 4,000 schoolchildren will flock to the Emirates Arena to take part in the Big Hit Festivals which run in tandem with the Championships.

BADMINTONscotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie said: “Our Festivals are a long-standing feature of the Scottish Open and we are as determined as ever to offer schoolchildren the chance to try badminton for the first time or, for those youngsters who already play the game, the opportunity to improve. We have also included a special session on Grand Prix Thursday aimed at children with additional support needs to make the event even more accessible to all aspects of society.

“Inspiring young people to be more physically active is of primary importance and our main vehicle for achieving this is our Big Hit programme and thus we have developed an innovative concept of festivals that will be offered throughout Scotland.”

The overall aim is to inspire children to be more active, encourage young people to become volunteers and increase confidence of primary teachers in teaching badminton.

BADMINTONscotland liaises with colleges and universities to deliver mentoring training to their students, who then work with secondary schools to deliver a new six-hour young leader training course to senior pupils.  The secondary schools then organise a primary school Big Hit that their young leaders run, mentored by the students.

Ms Smillie added: “Through this programme we expect to engage with more than 500 college/university students, 1,500 young leaders, 25,000 primary children and 1,500 teachers. We are really aiming for this to be a Big Hit long term!”

As well as the Big Hit Festivals there will also be a Coach Conference during the Grand Prix. This will provide an opportunity for aspiring and developing coaches to learn from some of the leading coaches in Scotland.

The Conference will be on Grand Prix Saturday (Nov 26) at the Emirates Arena (9.30am-12.30pm).

The programme for the Workshop features:

- Former Scotland star Bruce Flockhart on Core Lunging Technique.
- Katrina Gibbon, Sports Scientist with Scottish Squash and former Strength and Conditioning Coach at Glasgow School of Sport, on Ground Based Movement Skills
- Kaity Hall, National Para-Badminton Coach and former Junior Internationalist,on The promotion of inclusive practice and principles for coaching athletes with a disability
- National Senior Coach Andy Bowman on Forecourt Strokes
- Gordon Haldane, National Junior Squad Coach, on Early-Mid Court
- Sarah Bok, Edinburgh Sports Academy Coach and National Junior and Para-Badminton Squad Coach, on The Overhead Action to Young Children/Beginners

Places are still available - click here to book.

Click here for tickets for the Scottish Open Grand Prix (Nov 23-27).

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