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Am I a Club or an Academy

Updated: Jan 29

There is a lot of confusion between a badminton academy and a badminton club and this is getting worse as clubs jump onto the bandwagon and call themselves academies without the basic criteria in place.

Let us clarify the differences

A badminton club and a badminton academy may seem similar on the surface because they both involve badminton activities and may provide coaching or training. However, there are some very stark differences in their goals, structure, and functions.

Purpose & Focus

Badminton Academy is not membership driven organisation and is more focused on training and developing badminton skills through a learning curriculum. They are dedicated to developing the skills to play badminton from grass roots all the way to nurturing talent and improving the performance of their students. They offer specialised training programs aimed at technical and tactical skill development, with a clear pathway towards competitive and ultimately professional badminton.

Badminton Club is typically a community or membership-based organisation where people who love badminton come together to play the sport for fun, exercise, and/or mild competition. Clubs provide an environment for badminton enthusiasts of all skill levels to enjoy the game, and often organise local tournaments and social events. Their goal is to promote the sport and create a community around it.

Membership versus Admission

Badminton Academies have a grouping and selective criterion for admission based on skill level, age, and potential through an assessment. They are designed for those who have a serious interest in learning, improving, and excelling their badminton skills. Each course is designed for limited numbers. Like schools, an academy uses structured courses deploying, assessments, understanding their abilities and using methods like to Hattie matrix to develop, fluency, and stamina first, followed by expertise and strategy. To effectively progress pupils, they use classifications and KPIs as defined by the PD Grid.

Badminton Clubs typically accept members of diverse ages and skill levels. All members pay a membership fee, subscription or utilise a pay as you go principle. There is usually a queuing system for players in a club and badminton is played between different groups of people. Clubs generally form a social hub where members meet and interact with other badminton enthusiasts.

Coaching & Training

In a Badminton Academy coaching is a crucial component. Training is conducted by experienced and professional coaches who follow a well-planned training regime to enhance the players’ skills and performance. Players are assessed using the PD Grid have access to resources like physical fitness trainers, nutritionists, and sports psychologists where appropriate and necessary.

In a Badminton Club the coaching in clubs can range from adhoc to non-existent to having dedicated coaches, depending on the club's resources and objectives. While some clubs offer coaching sessions, the training is usually less intense compared to that of an academy.

Pathway & Progression

Badminton Academy is designed to provide a clear pathway to players from the onset. These pathways could be social play to professional or high-level competition play. They often have links or partnerships with professional teams, national sports associations, or universities, providing a well-defined route for progression for their athletes.

For a Badminton Club the pathways to professional or high-level competitive badminton from clubs are less defined. However, some exceptional players are generally scouted at club matches or tournaments and given opportunities to progress to higher levels.

In summary, a badminton club is more about providing an environment for people to enjoy the game at a leisurely or mildly competitive level and the coaching is synthetic. In contrast, a badminton academy focuses on the systematic development of players, nurturing their skills and preparing them for higher levels of competition.

So don't call your club an academy as it may be construed as fraudulent.

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