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London Grand Prix

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Badminton Never Looked So Grand
On your marks, get set, whack.

When I hear the words 'grand prix', the first thing I think of is Formula One Racing, so when I found out that the London Grand Prix would be taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, my heart sank. For its first major sporting event, the venue that will become our Olympic legacy (and has been designed to enrich the local ecology, restore wetland habitats and grow native plants), is going to host a gas guzzling, air polluting motor race? Great.

Fortunately, a few moments later, I realised how completely wrong I was. This is in fact a badminton grand prix, and I couldn't be happier. Badminton does not get nearly enough coverage. I must admit, I'm not much into sport, but badminton is the exception; I always enjoyed playing when I was younger, and was disappointed at how overshadowed it gets by other sports like tennis. There is not a day that goes by when there does not seem to be some epic tennis tournament taking place in some part of the globe, and it is endlessly on all the sporting channels. Badminton, on the other hand, barely gets a look in. I've never seen a badminton match shown on television, and up until this time, I had not actually realised there any official major tournaments. They are just never talked about.

It was great to learn, therefore, that one of the first events taking place at our latest London landmark will be the Badminton London Grand Prix. With tickets starting at just 10, it is an event affordable for everyone to enjoy. Even a premium season ticket is only 62. The tournament will be held at the Copperbox on the north side of the park, between 1st-6th October 2013. It will be six days, six rounds, and two hundred and forty-three matches of non-stop action, from the qualifying right through to the championship finals.
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Why? Badminton doesn't get enough attention
When: 1st-6th October
Phone: 0844 581 4913
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Cost: 10-62
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