• Team England badminton star and Olympic hopeful Marcus Ellis inspires pupils at Northampton school to get on court (pic)

    A visit by Team England badminton star Marcus Ellis has inspired students at Elizabeth Woodville School to get on the ‘Roade to Rio’ in new SmashUp! badminton sessions.

    SmashUp! badminton, a new initiative which is giving pupils of all sporting ability the chance to get active in a fun and sociable way, is proving a smash hit following the visit from Ellis, who is ranked in the world’s 20 and is in contention to play for England at this year’s Commonwealth Games.Team England badminton star Marcus Ellis

    The weekly session - which features a music playlist set by pupils, 16 big hitting badminton challenges, no dress code and no formal coaching – now sees over 35 pupils get on court.

    Ellis got the shuttlecocks flying at the first Elizabeth Woodville SmashUp! session by running a badminton masterclass, including a smash challenge and giving pupils the chance to ‘beat the star’ on court.

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