by WLR Staff, Adam Vaughan
Badminton is accessible, easy to play and fun. Plus you get to burn calories!
Badminton is a great sport for all-round fitness. You can start to play from a fairly low level of fitness and ability - the important thing is to choose partners whose level of fitness and skill is similar to your own. Having said that, you don't need a partner is order to get a game - there are over 3,500 clubs in the UK, many of which invite beginners to join in the fun and offer coaching.
Depending on your weight and exertion level you'll burn 100-200 extra calories* in a half-hour session.
*Extra calories are those you burn on top of the calories you use for basic day-to-day living. Inputting your exercise into your exercise diary will calculate the number of calories you will burn, based on your weight.
Badminton's a very sociable game - so talk to your friends, most of us have at least played at school even if it was a long time ago! Your local sports centre will almost certainly have badminton facilities so give them a call and book a court.
Trainers or tennis shoes (many sports halls only allow white soles), shorts or skirt and t-shirt are all you need to get started. Many sports halls have rackets and shuttlecocks for hire.
The Badminton Association of England has a search facility to locate your nearest club if you live in England - www.baofe.co.uk
The Scottish Badminton Association gives contact numbers for finding clubs in Scotland and a very useful Laws of Badminton section for those of you who like to play by the right rules. www.scotbadminton.demon.co.uk
Badminton UK has club directories for Wales, Ireland, Scotland, England and Hong Kong, info on books and a message board. www.badmintonuk.ndo.co.uk