Tuesday 1st February 2022

Spotlight On | University of Edinburgh Badminton Club

To celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, we are shining a spotlight on student clubs that would like to share their work.

Rebecca, from the University of Edinburgh’s Badminton Club, reached out to our Inclusion & Culture Coordinator Eilidh, to highlight the work EUBC is doing to ensure current and future LGBTQ+ members know they are welcome.


Hello Rebecca, thank you for reaching out to SSS. How has the start of the semester been for the club?

Hi there, the semester has started off really well! We’ve just reached a milestone of 300 members – I believe our highest number to date – and we’ve seen the restart of ‘Lothian League’ after a long covid-hiatus which means more match opportunities for our team players. Lots ahead!

Can you tell us what steps the club is taking to make badminton more welcoming to and inclusive of LGBTIQ+ students?

EUBC is trying to make it clear that ALL athletes are welcome in the badminton community and we have a zero-tolerance policy in our club for members who discriminate. We do our utmost to facilitate members joining the competitive team which best reflects their gender identity. We ensure there is no ‘policing’ – people aren’t asked if they are in the ‘right’ group, or if they are using the ‘right’ changing rooms/toilets at our sessions.

AT EUBC, we’ve recently changed the language we use when describing teams. Now, instead of “men” or “women”, we use the terms “men’s team players” and “women’s team players”. This small change will hopefully make our sessions more inclusive. We encourage our members to introduce themselves with their pronouns and to call people by their names until they know what to use. Our current goal is to develop our stance in regard to players who may not conform to the gender division of competitive play. We’ve engaged in communication with the institutions who organise these matches, such as BUCS, to see what we can achieve together. 

“You are absolutely welcome regardless of your sexual or gender identity and you’ll see members wearing rainbow shoelaces for support.”

Why do you think it is important to celebrate awareness dates such as LGBTQ+ History Month?

It’s absolutely paramount to celebrate these dates as a sports community because it acts as a strong statement of our values. It’s an opportunity to remind queer people that they are welcome, celebrated, and to combat heterosexist normality and internal prejudices.


What would you say to an LGBTIQ+ student who would like to join your club but is worried about how they may be received?

We’re one of the largest badminton clubs in the country and there’s a community of our members who are also LGBTIQ+. We look after each other and would love to have you! If you have any worries, we have an active and friendly committee that would help you settle in and make friends!

“As a queer member of EUBC, I’ve always felt accepted at club sessions, socials, training, and as a team captain. You are absolutely welcome regardless of your sexual or gender identity and you’ll see members wearing rainbow shoelaces for support. On top of that, the recent steps towards increasing inclusion of trans and non-binary people are a great example of EUBC’s development and make me feel seen and respected.” – Barbara, 2nds team captain.

I’ve found the badminton club a very queer-friendly group and have never heard of any contrary experiences. Plus, there is a great representation of LGBT+ in our leadership which helps us protect and promote these issues!” – Yiling, Vice-President.

Thank you to EUBC for sharing their development journey with us and we look forward to sharing other stories over LGBTQ+ History Month.