Badminton aces inspire youngsters
11:00 06 June 2014
England duo drop in on local club
Two international sportsmen treated a badminton club to some first-class coaching on Wednesday and served up some new kit while they were at it.
Steve Butler, a former English number one turned coach, and Sam Parsons, a young England international, arrived at Emerson Park school bearing equipment and their expertise to help the Eagles Badminton Club continue their impressive development.
Butler is now Managing Director of Forza UK, who advertise themselves as the UK’s Premier Badminton Academy.
Forza have been keen to get involved with local badminton and were pivotal in the development of the Eagles, who play at the school.
He said: “Forza is a brand that is very pro-active in developing links with clubs, counties and schools and is the favoured brand of the youth players.”
Club spokesperson Amanda Austin could not speak highly enough of the organisation, adding: “When it was launched eight years ago, the club had no start-up funds.
“We contacted lots of big badminton companies only to be told there was no help available, even though this was all being done in conjunction with Havering Council and the local schools.
“When I approached Forza and spoke to Steve he gave us rackets, bags, shuttles and other equipment. We are extremely grateful to Steve for his help and to Sam for his inspiration.”
After beginning with a modest eight players, the Eagles now have a whopping 150 members and run sessions virtually all week for all ages.
Their link with Forza remains strong as their players joyously revelled in the presence of badminton greats.
Forza are looking to replicate their meteoric success with the Eagles by providing Newtons Primary School with 20 rackets and shuttles to get them playing and also provided the boys team from Bower Park special shirts when they reached the county round of the school competition.
Austin added: “We had a great evening with Sam and Steve. Sam was just back from India and is off to play in the Lithuanian Open, so we were really lucky to have him visit.
“They presented Newtons Primary with 20 rackets and shuttles and the school were really pleased and hope to set up their own badminton club thanks to Forza.”