Borders Badminton youngsters enjoy a Big Hit in Glasgow

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Badmintonscotland’s Big Hit Festivals received the star treatment when Scotland rugby player Finn Russell and tennis coach Judy Murray, mother of top players Andy and Jamie, brought the week-long activities to a perfect end.

Borders Badminton, which has been running a bus from the Borders to this event for many years, again took a load of children to Glasgow. It gives an excellent experience and insight into championship badminton played at the highest standard.

Finn and Judy took part in a fun mixed doubles with former Scotland badminton stars Rita Yuan Gao and Robert Blair while Kirsty Gilmour umpired the contest in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.

After mingling with some of the youngsters at the final Big Hit of the week – 4,000 schoolchildren from all over Scotland had been involved in the festivals organised by World Championships Development co-ordinator Duncan Grant.

Borders Badminton Group chairwoman Christine Wylie, who took more than 30 children to the event, said: “Borders Badminton players have a great time at this event every year. The children really enjoy the coaching sessions and the added bonus of meeting some top players. It’s a great experience for them.”

Following the training sessions, Finn and Judy watched the afternoon finals of the Scottish Open Grand Prix in the Emirates Arena, with Judy helping with the presentation ceremonies.

Badmintonscotland chief executive Anne Smillie said: “We were delighted that Finn and Judy were able to attend on finals day.

“Finn, of course, is one of badmintonscotland’s official ambassadors for the Total BWF World Championships 2017, along with Celtic and Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

“They are both helping badmintonscotland promote the World Championships in the countdown to next August, when the best exponents of our sport will be competing in the Emirates Arena (in Glasgow).

“I know all the youngsters at the Scottish Open Big Hit Festival got a big thrill from being in Finn and Judy’s company.”

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