Cavan Para Taster Session
Thursday 29 June 2017
A first ever Para-Badminton taster session was hosted in Cavan last Wednesday, June 21st, as Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) groups in Cavan and Navan attended a session delivered by Terry Conroy from the Lisburn 2gether Pan Disability club. With the Irish Para-Badminton International Championships beginning the following day, it was an opportune time to introduce the sport to the twenty participants in attendance as they had never previously played the game. Commenting on the significance of the timing of this event, Terry Conroy had this to say, "On the week of the Irish Parabadminton International, this was a great opportunity to introduce badminton to new players who may be at that level in the future. Most of the group had not played badminton before, but a lot of fun was had in picking up some of the basics".
Moreover, it is important to highlight the essential role the Local Sports Partnership (LSP) play in rolling out these events, as they assist in recruiting participants and locating a suitable venue, while Badminton Ireland aim to ensure there will be a follow-on from the initial session, by contacting local clubs and coaches to encourage them to be actively involved on the day. Ulster Badminton also assisted in the process of recruiting Terry Conroy to lead this particular session. Sports Inclusion Disability Officer (SIDO) for Cavan/Monaghan, Dean McElroy, touched on some of these points during his assessment of the taster session in Cavan, "On behalf of Cavan Sports Partnership, Sports Inclusion programme, it was fantastic to support such an event in the county and to give people the opportunity to try badminton for the first time locally. Working in partnership with Badminton Ireland and the IWA worked excellently well and we hope to continue this relationship into the future".
Badminton Ireland are continously striving to increase the number of players participating in Para-Badminton nationwide, and organising this taster session in conjunction with the Cavan Sports Partnership ensured it proved to be a massive success. Terry outlined his hopes for the development of Para-Badminton across the country, "Participation in Parabadminton is always growing, and with the sport making it's Paralympic debut in Tokyo 2020 hopefully there will be a lot more grassroots sessions like this, and more competitive opportunities for all levels". Next up on the calendar for Para-Badminton development, there are three scheduled taster sessions taking place during the months of July and August at all-inclusive summer camps in Dublin and Meath.
Finally, this year's Coaches Conference has a very exciting Para-Badminton section, with Lyndon Williams from the Badminton World Federation delivering on-court and classroom Para-Badminton sessions. Additionally, it will be an opportunity to meet some of Ireland's top Para-Badminton players who will be present. This is an event not to be missed and places are filling up quickly so reserve your place to avoid disappointment.
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