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Badminton club unites the commmunity

A free badminton club, which was established to bring together people from diverse communities in Exeter, regularly welcomes members of all ages from a total of 16 different countries.

The sessions, which take place at Wonford Sports Centre, regularly attract more than 25 participants a week from countries across the world, including Syria, Hong Kong and Afghanistan.

And to celebrate the success of the group, it recently staged a free badminton tournament  in partnership with Live & Move, Exeter City Council, Devon County Council, Wonford Sports and Leisure Centre and Devon Bengali Association.

The group, which meets at 12pm on Sundays, was launched in 2021 by Inclusive Exeter, a community interest company which was established to bring together diverse communities across the city of Exeter and beyond. The community-led organisation holds and facilitates activities and events to improve relationships between communities and local and national services, with the aim of fostering better integration and reduced isolation. Live and Move, a Sport England supported partnership that encourages people in the city to lead active lives, has helped the group by contributing towards an instructor and the hire of the sports centre.

James Bogue of Live and Move, the programme in Exeter that supports this activity, said: “The badminton group is a fantastic representation of a diverse community joining together, whether that be age, gender or ethnicity. We’re really proud to have supported and help grow an initiative like this which shows people coming together and being active.

“The tournament felt like an appropriate way to celebrate the amazing success of this group and we’d encourage people to sign up as soon as possible.”