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The Shuttlebusters club is about promoting and organising badminton for adults. Our key activities are to provide

  • Opportunities for adult beginners.
  • Coaching and playing opportunities for adult improvers.
  • A route for youngsters to continue playing after learning in the junior system.
  • An easy way for people to get into competitive play.
  • Competitive singles, mens doubles and ladies doubles.
  • Publicity for badminton as a sport


Badminton is played indoors, so we can play all year round, even in the middle of winter, whatever the weather, and after dark. It's mostly skill and touch rather than power. Men and women can play at the same level, and it works fine when it's played mixed. Badminton is fun to play even when you first start, but there's always more to learn and better players to play against. The equipment needed is inexpensive (indoor sports shoes and a racquet). The cost is around 5 per session - or club memberships are around 100-150 for a full year.


To play doubles you need four players. If you've got only one, two or three players then you can't play, unless you join a club with other people who want to play. Most clubs have minimum standards - league clubs want people who are ready to play matches. For most clubs you have to be good before you can join - and you can't get to be good without joining. At Shuttlebusters all standards are welcome. We just divide people into groups of similar standards. You'll get hard games, and easy games. If you're a beginner we'll teach you how to play. If you're a social player that's okay, you'll meet other social players. If you're a competitive player, then our coaches will help you improve more quickly.

Coaching means you don't have to work through the common mistakes yourself. We can tell you which things work and which things don't, and what things to try when you're trying to improve your game.


Badminton will help you get fit and stay healthy. It's a game, not just exercise for the sake of it. It provides an aerobic workout and uses many different muscle groups for genuine fitness, flexibility and agility. Singles is the game that will test your fitness the best and do the most to improve it - but there's plenty of exercise in a game of doubles as well and most people prefer doubles because it's more tactical.

You don't have to be super-fit to play badminton and enjoy it. It's an advantage if you are, and given equal skills on both sides the quicker and more agile players with better endurance are going to win. But the game works fine at every level of ability, provided the mismatch between opponents isn't too great, and the activity WILL help improve your fitness (and your motivation for getting fitter). At the higher levels of play the game is VERY demanding, but you don't have to be able to charge around like a mad thing in order to enjoy a game of badminton. Although it's definitely more fun if you can, and do.


Mondays   7-8   Bucklers Mead   Coaching & practice session for Beginners (coach is Helen Manfield)
Mondays   8-10   Bucklers Mead   Improvers & Club practice (coach is Helen Manfield)
Tuesays   8-10   Bucklers Mead   League & Team practice & match night (stronger players)
Wednesdays   8-10   Bucklers Mead   Improvers & Club practice (with club coaches)
Saturdays   3-4   Bucklers Mead   Catchup coaching session, all levels (with Helen Manfield)

Our beginners classes are a mixture of playing time and coaching with a professional coach. The improvers and club sessions are no-strings practice so you can play and pay-as-you-go without being pushed into a coaching group but coaching support is available. Age range for all our sessions is 15 and up (with no top limit).


We also run a Coaching Day from time to time where we have a professional coach (James Elkin) run through all the basics (footwork, grips, shots, tactics, positioning, serves, returns, backhands, shot selection...) in one day providing an all-round "proficiency course" course for club players (especially ones who haven't had much coaching). It's also good as a comprehensive revision course for players who have been coached - things rarely "click" the first time you try them and this will help sweep up the things you missed.

Sometimes in the summer we can run the same material spread over a number of weeks. For either option you need to put your name down in advance so we know if we've enough people for the course to run.


If there's an open evening you can just turn up - if you want to join or visit other times check the main page for the latest news and contact us (see the foot of the main page for details) for late news of venues changes/closures and to check there's room (usually no problem - we try to leave a few places open for visitors and new arrivals).


Open Evenings are free to new arrivals, and they're a good time to start because there will be other people starting at the same time - most people find that works best. And they're free. If you're a beginner or not up to date with rules etc then we'll almost always do a run through the rules and scoring. That's a bit dull but it's best to be doing that in a group rather than learning it while playing with a bunch of people who are already up to speed.

More experienced players generally get on and start playing and can start any time.

See also the What You Need and What It Costs pages or go back to the Main Page.