The first Pre-Selection Camp for the BEC Centre of Excellence started up last Monday in Vejen, Denmark, and was concluded the following Friday. Badminton Europe is very pleased with the outcome of the camp and the performance by the participants.
This was the first camp out of three, and with the location and head coach not yet decided, the objective for the week was to get an overview of the players that have applied. The main idea is to have approximately 24 players for the Centre of Excellence’s start up in September 2017.
The players arrived Monday December 5th from countries all over Europe, three players even travelled all the way from Australia. They were welcomed by the coaches and staff at an introductory meeting before the first training session of the camp began at 4 PM.
Due to bad weather across Europe, a handful of players’ flights were delayed and some even arrived without their luggage. This lead to that it was not until noon the following day, that every player was on court.
The past days, the players have been practicing twice a day; one session in the morning and one in the afternoon. The afternoon sessions on Tuesday and Thursday were for matches only, which gave the coaches an idea of players’ skills outside training situations.
“We are not going to put the players through various physical tests during this week”, Camp Director Jereon van Dijk ensured. “The main goal is to see them play and do technical exercises in order to get an overall knowledge of their level.”
The coaches that assisted the Camp Director was Nicola Cerfontyne (ENG), Vladyslav Druzhchenko (UKR), Jamie Neill (SCO), and Peter R Jensen (DEN). All of them are former or still active players, who have been coaching on the side, while the last-named just recently has returned from the position as National Coach in New Zealand.
The camp Director were not only evaluating the players for the centre, but the coaches as well. The initiative was left to the coaches with van Dijk as a by stander. After each day of training, the four coaches and Camp Director would gather to discuss the sessions of the day and evaluate the groups and players.
In between training sessions, Badminton Europe sat down and had conversations with the players about their aspirations for the future.
“This is the first practical stage for the Centre of Excellence-project”, says van Dijk, “It is difficult to make any final decisions when we can’t inform the aspirants where the location of the centre will be. But we are excited to start the process by interviewing players and considering coaches.”
The following two camps will, however, be at centre’s final location, which Badminton Europe has estimated to announce after the Commission and Board meeting in January.
The players will receive a letter from Badminton Europe after the pre-selection camp, with word of their future in the Centre of Excellence-project.
Overall, Badminton Europe and the organisers are very satisfied with the outcome of the Pre-Selection Camp. Every player came to court with a great attitude and a will to work hard.
We would like to thank all of you – players and couches – for travelling from all over the continent (and for some even beyond) to be a part of the first step towards our Centre of Excellence.
We wish all of you the best of luck in your badminton future.
Learn more about the BEC Centre of Excellence here
Go to the Pre-Selection Camp’s photo gallery on the BEC Facebook page by clicking here.
Every player and coach participated in the making of a mannequin challenge. Watch the result below: