MARCH 1 - GAIL EMMS (pictured), arguably Britain's best known badminton player, has taken on a new role as a mentor for Sky Sports Living for Sport.
The 2004 Olympic mixed doubles silver medallist will mark her new role by giving a masterclass for youngsters at the National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Birmingham on Monday.
That is on the eve of the All England Open, which open at the NIA on Tuesday and run through until March 8, and which will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Sky Sports Living for Sport is a programme for secondary schools in the UK that uses sport to motivate and inspire young people who are at risk of opting out of school life.
The free scheme www.skysports.com/livingforsport for 11 to 16 year olds was created by the Youth Sport Trust in partnership with Sky.
The badminton masterclasss, led by Emms alongside England's head coach Ian Wright, will take eight teenagers from Idsall School in Shropshire through badminton basics before putting them into singles and doubles matches.
The young people will be encouraged to learn new skills from the athletes and discover the enjoyment that can be gained from taking part in sport.
Emms joins a team of athlete mentors led by Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell, who provide help and advice to youngsters involved with the programme.
The other mentors include Nicola Minichiello, who recently became the Briton to win a world bobsleigh title since 1965.
Emms, who retired after last year's Olympics in Beijing, was last month appointed as England Badminton's first-ever ambassador.
Sports Living for Sport is supported by the department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and encourages pupils to learn new sports and get involved in different activities connected with sport such as organising and running sports related events to develop new skills and confidence.
More than 17,000 youngsters over 600 schools have benefitted since the programme began in 2003 and over 200 schools have already signed up this year.
The ambition of the project is for 2,000 schools and 30,000 young people to register with Sky Sports Living for Sport by by the time of the London 2012 Olympics and to build the activities into curricular and extra curricular activities.
Emms said: "I am really looking forward to visiting schools and mentoring young people involved with the Sky Sports Living for Sport scheme.
"I was helped by a variety of people throughout my career and fully appreciate how positive an effect mentoring and sport can have on young people.
"The badminton masterclass should be a great introduction to the initiative for me.”