Children from across the county took part in the Norfolk School Games badminton competition.

Nearly 130 children from across Norfolk were competing as part of the Norfolk Partnership’s winter games.

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The contestants represented their partnerships in two age categories, under 14s and under 16s, with their sports teachers and coaches supporting them from the sidelines.

The competition was fierce across the board, with several close matches.

Aylsham under 14 girls won a close fought match 15 to 14.

After an exciting game, Lucy Maun, 13, an Aylsham High school pupil, said: “I don’t do much sport but I love badminton. It’s nice to have a day off school to come and do something fun.”

Gemma Ridgeway, 12, also from Aylsham High, said: It’s exciting when you’re under pressure to play a good match.”

The day was adjudicated by Badminton England regional officer Norma Bowan, who said: “It’s wonderful to see so many children playing. This is a sport you can play at any level. It’s relatively cheap and there are courts everywhere, even in a rural county such as Norfolk.”

The children were also lucky enough to have international Badminton World Federation line judge, Suzanne Benton, in their midst, on hand to help keep score.

Walter Housden, coach at Taverham, says the growth of badminton in Norfolk schools was paramount, saying: “It’s hugely important to keep this sport growing. It’s a competitive sport but is also very inclusive and friendly.

He continued: “With badminton, there’s a level for everyone to play at...

“You don’t have to be a brilliant at sport to get started.”

After a long day representing their partnership’s the top three scoring teams were declared the winners.

In a medal ceremony the Norwich East under-14 boys, Norwich under-14 girls, West Norfolk under-16 boys and Norwich East under-16 girls were all crowned champions.

The partnerships were also competing as part of a national competition run by Badminton England.

The partnership with the most points, West Norfolk, will go on to represent the whole region in the Centerparcs National School Championships later this year.

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