PUPILS at Conifers School have been working on their badminton skills.

In a joint partnership with Dorset Badminton year four children at the Weymouth school have been taking up the sport over the last term.

Generally recognised as the world’s fastest racket sport, badminton is seen as a good way to lower cholesterol and keep fit, with simple rules meaning it is easy to pick up and play for young children.

The children have spent their sessions learning the basic badminton strokes whilst also improving their fundamental skills like throwing and catching.

Children have also learnt the basic rules and how to score games of badminton.

Dorset Badminton Association has provided funding to allow the promotion of badminton as part of the primary school curriculum across the area.

The children have been learning from Kirsty Wilcox, county coach and Dorset under 13s badminton manager.

Kirsty spoke highly of the benefits of playing badminton at such a young age.

She said: “Badminton is a great sport for all ages and can really help to keep children active, it helps with their social interaction and is above all fun.”

She was also full of praise for the youngsters at the Conifers School and their enthusiasm for the sport and saw potential for further progression.

Kirsty said: “The children have worked really well in the lessons and there are some very talented youngsters.”

The aim of the sessions it to give children something to build on and hopefully get more of them playing badminton outside of school.

Kirsty said: “We are hoping that if we provide coaching at grass roots level then we will provide a great platform for the juniors to play at clubs and then even within the county set up."

Year four teacher, Juliette Frampton, said that the work Kirsty has done with the pupils has been very beneficial.

She said: “Having Kirsty coaching the year group each week as part of our PE curriculum has been fantastic.

Mrs Frampton also hopes that some of the children will carry on playing the sport outside of school.

She said: “All the children thoroughly enjoyed learning how to play a sport they had never experienced before. I am hopeful that some children will continue the sport through outside clubs.”

Dorset Badminton aims to promote the sport amongst younger players whilst also supporting and promoting good badminton coaching across the county.

For more information on how and where to play badminton in Dorset go to www.dorsetbadminton.co.uk