Center Parcs Serving Up Support For Badminton England

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Center Parcs and BADMINTON England announced the start of a five year partnership that will see them working together.

Through our partnership with BADMINTON England, Center Parcs will be helping to support England's badminton players, from grass roots through to elite, as they strive to become the best in the world

Today, Center Parcs and BADMINTON England announced the start of a five year partnership that will see them working together beyond the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Gail Emms and Anthony Clark, both selected to represent Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, were already at Center Parcs' Elveden Forest as part of a Pre-Games team building camp and helped launch the partnership alongside 2012 prospects Heather Olver and Robert Adcock.

There is a natural synergy between BADMINTON England and Center Parcs, the leading UK short break holiday operator, with badminton being one of Center Parcs' most popular activities; over 107 000 courts booked each a year by guests at its four UK holiday villages. One of the biggest attractions of badminton is that it is a sport that all the family can enjoy together, and that people of any age can play. This partnership will help bring badminton to life for all Center Parcs' guests on their summer holidays, giving them a unique insight into the sport at all levels as well as access to a range of new and exciting opportunities.

Gail Emms, who is preparing for her second Olympic Games, and hoping to build on the silver medal she won in Athens, is fully supportive of the partnership, saying: "Badminton continues to grow in popularity amongst people of all ages and this partnership will help us sustain that growth. I know that Center Parcs will now be putting more of a focus on badminton within their Villages which will hopefully inspire even more people to have a go!"

The National Schools Championships, which are run by BADMINTON England, last year attracted over 200 entries from independent schools and School Sport Partnerships and will be an area of particular focus for Center Parcs going forward. The Championships, which launch in September, will see competitors playing three rounds at a county / regional level, before going on to a national final to be hosted by Center Parcs at one of its Villages.

"Through our partnership with BADMINTON England, Center Parcs will be helping to support England's badminton players, from grass roots through to elite, as they strive to become the best in the world," commented Colin Whaley, Sales & Marketing Director at Center Parcs. "As well as providing financial support which will help develop world class talent, BADMINTON England will be making the most of our facilities for their players' training camps and also the National Schools Championships, with the Olympic squad currently enjoying a team building weekend at our Elveden Village as part of their preparations prior to Beijing."

"This is a very important day for BADMINTON England, and for English Badminton as a whole," said Adrian Christy, BADMINTON England Chief Executive. "We aim to become the best Badminton nation in the world by 2016 and the assistance provided by Center Parcs will help us build towards achieving that goal."

Through its relationship with BADMINTON England, Center Parcs' staff and customers will be able to enjoy a host of benefits including access to Team England event tickets, hospitality, mascot opportunities and coaching sessions with some of the country's top players and coaches. At a time when there is so much focus increasing participation in sport and family activities, this partnership will inspire staff and guests to make the most of what badminton has to offer.

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Sacha Oswald
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