Grace Litherland-Clews is a 14 year old badminton player from Alsager who plays weekly as a part of Alsager Badminton Club and competes regularly. Grace has recently been awarded £150 by the Everybody Foundation to purchase new badminton racquets for her upcoming training and competitions.
Grace explained that racquets are really expensive and when you play as much as Grace does, they break relatively regularly. Thanks to the grant funded to Grace by the Everybody Foundation, Grace was able to buy herself two brand new Racquets costing around £80 each!
Grace began playing badminton at 12 years of age. At the time, Grace had given multiple sports a go in order to try and increase her fitness levels and Badminton was the only sport that held her interest. From here on out, she knew that she wanted to pursue the sport. Grace would play badminton both inside school time, and at Alsager Leisure Centre with her parents. Whilst playing with her parents one evening, Alsager Badminton Club spotted Grace playing and asked her to join the club as they saw lots of potential in her.
Grace commented, “John and everyone from Alsager Badminton Club are so friendly and nice. Everyone really helps each other and encourages one another. I can’t believe how much I have improved and how quickly. It makes my parents proud which feels nice.”
Badminton is a predominantly male sport which Grace says inspires her to keep training and encourage others to play too. Since beginning playing badminton at age 14, Grace has now gone on to compete nationally and has progressed to county level.
Grace recently attended the Under 16 championships at Sir Graham Balfour High School where Grace won her singles games, and played alongside Ethan Dalley, who represents England in Badminton, and they won their mixed doubles games too.
Grace also trains at Dominoes badminton club where coach, Jon Harris, gives his time free of charge to train Grace as he believes in her potential and encourages her to continuously train.
Her future goals include playing at the Commonwealth Games in 4 years time and potentially becoming a coach in the future. Grace explained “I tried coaching with school recently. I coached 9-10 year olds and really enjoyed it. Its never been clear to me what I would like to do for a job, but if I keep playing Badminton, I might not have any reason to look anywhere else.”
The Everybody Foundation is a charity (Registered Charity No. 1174873) that raises funds to support individuals and groups to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Organisations can be funded to deliver projects that encourage people to be active and healthy. It could be a one-off community event, to kick-start an activity programme or something completely different. Individuals can be supported to be active regardless of whether that is trying to win an Olympic gold medal, develop the skills to help others to be active or to access their session of choice more regularly. Funding can be used to pay for facility developments and the purchase of non-sporting equipment that helps the communities in which Everybody Sport and Recreation operates to be more active.
Applications can be made by completing the Everybody Foundation Nomination Form found at www.everybody.org.uk/everybodyfoundation, and sending it either electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, by post to Everybody Foundation, Holmes Chapel Community Centre, Station Road, Holmes Chapel, CW4 8AA or in person at your local Everybody leisure centre.
Notes to Editor
Everybody Sport & Recreation – Everybody Sport and Recreation is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. As a Health and Wellbeing Charity, Everybody Sport and Recreation aims to provide ‘leisure for life’ by changing lives through healthy recreation. The charity operates 15 leisure facilities across the Cheshire East region as well as a range of Health, Leisure Development and Outreach programmes and the new Everybody Academy, providing local training and career opportunities. For more information please visit: www.everybody.org.uk or follow on Twitter @ebleisure.
Name: Sophie Coleman