Paralympic medallists Dan Bethell and Krysten Coombs visited a disabled group in Wimbledon ©Badminton England

Paralympic medallists Dan Bethell and Krysten Coombs were on hand to launch Badminton England's Big Hit campaign.

The pair joined a local disabled group in Wimbledon in a bid to inspire the next generation of Paralympians, while supporting the sport at grassroots level.

Big Hit Week will see clubs in England host events to encourage players to get on the badminton court following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an indoor sport, badminton clubs were particularly impacted by the coronavirus crisis with the majority only opening again in July and some still shut. 

Bethell won silver for Britain in the men's singles SL3 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, where badminton made its debut on the sports programme.

Coombs took home bronze in the men's singles SH6.

Badminton England chief executive Adrian Christy outlined the organisation's focus on the disabled community.

The organisation's Disability Action Plan can now be rolled out after a pause due to COVID-19.

Sixty new coaches have already been trained while a "world class" programme has been put in place.

"Our sport is so accessible, and Dan and Krysten's success in Tokyo can inspire players from grassroots right up to the elite," said Christy. 

"As an organisation, we are always working to increase inclusivity, and we were proud to be one of the few sports that announced our Olympic and Paralympic teams side-by-side. 

Dan Bethell won Paralympic silver for Britain at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
Dan Bethell won Paralympic silver for Britain at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

"Badminton is a sport that is open to all, and we want to welcome current and new players alike back to the court, or to pick up a racket for the first time. 

"The last 18 months have been tough for our clubs and our members, with venue closures having a huge impact on the sport. 

"As we work to reopen venues across the country, and work to support all our clubs, the time is now for members and new players to take to the court and enjoy badminton once again wherever they can. 

"We are here to help, and hopefully we can inspire everyone to play the game and enjoy it."

Big Hit Week coincides with badminton's traditional season start.

"The Big Hit is really important," said Coombs. 

"It's a great opportunity for everyone to get back into badminton and get back on court after the tough times we've had. 

"It's just great to see Para and able-bodied players in the badminton community getting the chance to be back on court."