Students with Gail Emms

Students interview Olympic heroine

Students from Somerset College interviewed Olympic heroine Gail Emms last week. The students will use footage to produce a series of short films for BADMINTON England that will promote the forthcoming No Strings Badminton campaign.

Graphic Design students from the College spent a VIP day at the Yonex All England Open Championships in Birmingham to film the Olympic silver medallist and former World and Commonwealth Champion.

National Diploma Graphic Design student Peter Walters, FdA Graphic Design students Terry Sommerville and AJ Cross, and BA (Hons) Graphic Design student Mark Richards are filming a series of short films that will publicise BADMINTON England's new No Strings Badminton campaign. They presented six film ideas to the sport's governing body which chose to take three of them to production.

The three videos are designed to get more people playing badminton in the run up to the Badminton World Championships in London in 2011 and of course London 2012. The ideas featured a shuttlecock being hit between various people, frustrated badminton players playing the sport in locations including a library and shops, and an undercover documentary.

Project leader Mark Richards, who studies BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Somerset College, said: ‘It was a great experience; we were given the chance to spend a day at the Yonex All England Open Championships whilst we pitched the ideas to BADMINTON England. It was a nerve-racking experience as we had to sell our ideas to them.

‘Filming Gail Emms was the easier part of the day as she was really laid back and great at speaking to the camera. I am really enjoying project managing this assignment as it is giving me lots of experience that I will be able to use in employment.'

Sporting ambassador Gail Emms said ‘It's really exciting to be working with Somerset College as this innovative project takes shape. The imagination and creativity that the students have displayed is fantastic. I'm sure that this highly original partnership will be hugely beneficial to BADMINTON England and to the No Strings Badminton programme.'

Stuart Hooper, Sports tutor and FESCO at Somerset College, said: ‘This has been a fantastic project to work on. It has also allowed further education students to learn from degree level students - which has been really beneficial to them all. I have been really impressed with their ideas.

‘It is a major coup for the College to be able to work so closely with a national sports governing body like BADMINTON England. I hope this is the start of a long and successful working partnership".

The No Strings Badminton programme will provide a local, relaxed and completely flexible playing opportunity for those people who wish to play badminton regularly, but don't want to commit to joining a club or can't always find the right partner to play against. No Strings Badminton sessions are fun, sociable, ‘no strings attached' games for all standards and abilities.

BADMINTON England is launching the No Strings Badminton campaign in a bid to attract more people into the sport in the lead up to the Badminton World Championships in London in 2011 and the Olympic Games in 2012. The campaign is currently being piloted across a number of select locations in the UK and is due to be launched later in the year.

Somerset College is the first college in the UK to offer the No Strings Badminton programme. The sessions will be launched on Tuesday 24 March.

Somerset College offer Graphic Design courses at further education and degree level. Click here for further information. University level courses at the College are delivered through a partnership with the University of Plymouth.