We take an inside look at local badminton club Worthing Juniors.

For years, this club has opened its doors to children interested in playing badminton. They take players from age 4 ½ up until they’re out of full time education. From complete beginners at 4 ½ to 16 year-old county players, Chris Brierley, who currently runs the club, said they take “all standards, but we encourage people and try and push people along to achieve the highest standard they can reach.”

Worthing Juniors was started a long time ago, and “40 years ago” Chris took over from another coach before him. It has long been inspiring young people to take up the sport and to enjoy themselves in a fun yet progressive environment. Chris started playing when he was twenty, when his friend invited him along to play. A lot of the players at Juniors have played for years, and some are new to the sport. Chris excellently puts them into groups based on ability to ensure all are included and no one is “knocked off the court”. This really helps his players improve and feel welcome, and to want to keep on coming every week. Players are flexible to move within the groups, based on how they grow as a player and how they improve.

Worthing Juniors also enter a team into an adult league and Chris thinks this is really important in the kids’ development. It’s “for experience” and “its easier to transition from a junior to adult club”, as the players are known to the adults and their standards are recognised. Furthermore, Chris encourages his players to enter local tournaments that suit their abilities “so they can see how good they are against people they don’t normally play”.

Worthing Juniors Badminton Club is really encouraging young people to take up badminton as both a hobby and a competitive sport. They bring their players up to high levels and they leave better than when they arrived: and always with a smile on their faces.

Josh Farley.

Worthing High school.