Y kids make a ‘racquet’ at Friendly Games

The Glenrothes youngsters show off their club t-shirts
The Glenrothes youngsters show off their club t-shirts

Glenrothes youngsters got a dream opportunity to see their favourite sport played to its maximum potential with a unique visit to the Commonwealth Games.

Members of the Y’s badminton group had the best seats in the Emirates Arena to witness some of the best players in the world compete at the highest level - amongst them England, Wales and hot favourites Singapore.

The once-in-a-lifetime trip was made possible with the support of YMCA trustees and funding from the CashBack for Communities initiative - a Scottish Government programme which takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them into free activities and programmes for young people throughout the country.

The group were treated to a masterclass display of fast and furious badminton that Y coach Josh High said was at times “almost too fast to comprehend” and played with an “unbelievable agility”.

“It was fantastic to watch the speed of the shuttles and the players, very impressive indeed,” added Josh.

The Glenrothes youngsters also got fully involved in the fun and frolics of what has been dubbed ‘the friendly Games’ and were as delighted to see themselves on the big screens relaying all the action to the arena, as they were with the matches themselves.

Winnie Williamson, YMCA volunteer who has been involved in running the group for the past two years, told the Gazette the trip had been a “huge success”.

“We were treated fantastically by volunteers and games makers, especially as we all had our Glenrothes badminton t-shirts on,” said Winnie.

“The group has helped a range of kids to get more involved in recreational sport and to get a special treat like this was fantastic and really a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.”

Popular club encouraging kids into sport

Glenrothes YMCA’s badminton sessions for youngsters have proved a big success since they were introduced two years ago.

So much so that organisers had to split the group into two sessions because of only having one court. The group is currently seeking renewed funding and is hopeful that new early evening sessions will resume in Septenber.

Mary Hill, YMCA chairman said: “The group enthuses young people hugely and will encourage more young people into sport at the Y.”