The participants of the French regional project's camp after a successful training week (Photo: Badminton Europe/ RPFrance)
An anniversary that celebrates Europe’s badminton youth
Date: 9/7/2018 2:08 PM
Published by : Annika Langrock
Since 2008 Badminton Europe organises the Regional Projects, in cooperation with national European associations. The aim: bringing together children and teenagers as well as associations with the help of badminton. This year, the project took place for the tenth time in a row. 

Albania, Armenia, Faroe Islands, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia – the list of participating countries of this year’s regional projects is long. Between May and August, all 11 countries hosted badminton camps for children between 8 and 19 years.

Girl power
As usual, two host countries of the Regional Projects implemented special camps: The French Badminton Association as well as the Badminton Association of Serbia organised badminton camps solely for girls. Tina Riedl, former Austrian badminton player, participated for the first time as head coach in Serbia:

- For the girls this was an event they will remember for the rest of their life. They also found friends for their future badminton life, as they are going to meet each other at international tournaments.

In general, all camps are hosted by national associations and are financially supported by Badminton Europe to enhance the sports of badminton in Europe. Even though one national association is organising one camp, the participants are from several countries such as neighbor countries.

One team spirit
The German Badminton Association used this year’s project to bring together 30 youth national players from Germany, Austria and Switzerland to prepare for the European Junior Championships 2018 and the upcoming season. 

Furthermore, it has become a tradition for all three countries to meet for this camp during the summer holidays. 

Badminton all day
In general, all participants had intense training weeks. In Iceland, for example, the juniors had training sessions from 9.00 to 21.00 every day. In Latvia the players were able to train six hours a day. 

Many camps implemented tournaments in the end of the training week such as the Badminton Association of Albania. For the third time in a row, the association organised the Ida’s friends tournament to remember Ida Pili, who passed away in 2015. 

Next to bringing together youth players, the Regional Projects focus on improving the level of badminton as well as coaching. For the first time, Belarus participated in the project in Latvia. A good sign, according to Kristian Rozenvalds, General Secretary of the Latvian Badminton Federation.

- With the involvement of Belarus, both players and coaches have gained new experiences. Furthermore, the project improved the cooperation between the Baltic federations but also the ability to integrate other countries.

This year’s BEC Regional Projects have once again proven that badminton is able to connect Europe.

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