Play Badminton Club is celebrating International Women's Day (IWD) on 8 March 2023. This year’s theme is #EmbacingEquity.
You must be wondering what is equity? Is it the same as equality?
Not quite – they share the same root word aequus which means ‘even’, ‘fair’ or ‘equal’ – but their concepts are different.
Equality means everyone or a group is given the same resources or opportunities.
Equity recognises an individual has different circumstances so allocation of resources or opportunities should be exact to what is needed to reach an equal outcome. Or, giving everyone what they need to be successful.
Equality is about giving everyone the same thing, which would assume everyone started off in the same place, which can be inaccurate.
The IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign seeks we go beyond equal opportunities, as they are no longer enough, because it can be exclusionary rather than inclusive. Conversations have highlighted that circumstances can make it more difficult for people to achieve the same goals. Inequity affects many people but historically it has been marginalised communities such as women, ethnic minorities, disabled people, the economically disadvantaged and LGBTQ+.
Equity-based solutions take into account the diverse lived experience of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies to these differences.
We can all truly embrace equity in our club, continue to make it a fun, friendly, social, and safe place to play badminton. But forging gender equity isn’t limited to our female members, male members can be allies, this is so important. It’s valuable that everyone feels part of the club.
Our members always get involved and support us for IWD, here are some photos and testimonials.
At Play Badminton Club, we embrace fair opportunity and accessibility in our sessions, as a friendly and social club. Our sessions are mixed and open to all abilities. It’s good to see some members share tips and encourage others. Our club has seen an increase in female participation because of this and our monthly Women's sessions.
Mostly members do mix-up games well, but at times some female members have felt the ante and shied away from games. Maybe as a result, several women are taking the lead in their own development by enrolling in our training sessions, which is open to all adults. But enhancing or improving badminton skills shouldn’t be weighted on one gender alone.
I am keen to strengthen gender equity at the club and want to use my role as Club Ambassador to help shape a more cohesive club. Working with members who embody these attributes regardless of what they look like, their game or where they come from.
From the very beginning I wanted to ensure our Club is an inclusive club, welcoming players of all abilities regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs.
I am pleased that Play Badminton Club supports International Women's Day every year including this year’s #EmbraceEquity theme. It is important we can all challenge gender stereotypes, call out discrimination, draw attention to bias, and seek out inclusion.
As our Club has grown, I am pleased that the ratio of women to men players has also significantly risen. Initiatives like the women's only session and establishing links to ThisGirlCan campaign have helped encourage more women to join and make new friends from the Club.
While very few foster an air of exclusivity amongst themselves, shunning others not deemed to be in their circle, or not having the appropriate playing ability; I am pleased to say that majority of our Club members are welcoming of all abilities and understand the cultural ethos of our local, friendly, social badminton club.
Inclusivity is a strength from which our Club has flourished.
Thank you to all women and men who are helping to spread the word about #EmbraceEquity on International Women’s Day.
Play Badminton Club is friendly and welcoming to all. I continue to enjoy taking part in friendly mixed double games as well the women sessions! It’s a great sport to stay active, fit and meet some lovely people in the club.
When I joined Play Badminton Club last year I was blown away by its inclusivity. I thought it would be a really intimidating environment based on my past sports experiences, but actually from the first session everybody was so friendly and welcoming.
I felt there was real effort made by everyone to play with all members of the session which was really encouraging for me as I didn't know what my level would be, and I noticed people would adapt their play styles and intensity to make the games fair when it was needed.
If it wasn't for Play Badminton Club I wouldn't have gotten back into the sport, and their friendly approach played a huge part in that!
I think the women's sessions every month are really great too, my wife has really enjoyed them and she's gained a new group of friends through it.
I thoroughly encourage any women thinking about getting into badminton to choose Play Badminton Club!
It has been 3 months since I joined the club and playing badminton is one of the things I look forward to every week. I was very happy to see that the club offers mixed doubles sessions which are regularly attended by both women & men alike. I feel that mixed doubles sessions normalise sport playing between the two genders. Sport is one area where men and women frequently play against their own gender and whilst there's nothing wrong with this, I do feel that sometimes there may be a tendency for men to avoid playing sport with women with the assumption that they may not be good enough. On the flip side, women may not be very confident playing against men because of assumed differing physical abilities.
Encouraging mixed doubles may change such traditional viewpoints whilst allowing all players to learn from one another - because there's always room to improve whether you are male/female/a beginner or an advanced player.
The one thing that stood out the most for me at this club was how some of the more advanced players are happy to provide useful tips to improve my game. I've learnt so much in the short time I've spent there, and I would encourage more women to sign up to play. It's a safe space, everyone's friendly and it's a great way to learn a new skill.
My search for a local badminton club ended here when we moved into Northwood. From discovering the club to getting to the sessions, the entire experience is thoughtfully designed. One is spoilt for choice of sessions throughout the week and the veteran members do take pride in practicing & ensuring the environment is inclusive for all.
Last but not least, the club associates with sustainable charity initiatives this offering opportunities to return back to society.
Keep calm & play badminton.