With start from August 2017, Badminton Europe (BEC), has come to the decision that the facilities at Stenhus Gymnasium and Holbæk SportsCentre will form the framework for the biggest gamble in our 50-year existence, so far.
“With the establishment of our Centre of Excellence, we mainly strive towards strengthening the sub-elite in European badminton. Hereby, creating more competition in Europe which will hopefully also strengthen our competitiveness toward the players from other Continents, particularly players from the top Asian countries.” says Brian Agerbak, General Secretary of Badminton Europe.
The agreement, which, initially will run until the end of 2020, should partly secure strengthening the training culture for the players at the Centre, but BEC also has the clear objective that the effort should have a positive effect on the general level of European badminton.
“The main work of developing badminton talents in Europe still needs to be done inside our Member Associations and we will still work towards strengthening national structures within the high-performance area. With the world-class facilities that Holbæk has to offer, we can offer a sustainable, high level training environment for the players that currently do not have sufficient training possibilities at home to reach their full potential.”
Illustrations by Dimension Design for Kullegaard Architects
Centre of Excellence will be housing approximately 24 players in the next 3.5 years, who will be staying near Stenhus Gymnasium and training in the newly built Stenhushal (Hall of Stenhus) until Holbæk SportsCentre is ready by 1 January 2019.
“At Holbæk SportsCentre, we are extremely proud that we have been entrusted with the role as hosts for the BEC Centre of Excellence, in fierce competition with other serious bidders”, says Carsten Damgaard, board member and spokesman for Holbæk SportsCentre.
“It is a great endorsement for the SportsCentre-project that a big international sports confederation has put us in favor, and we are very excited about the agreement/collaboration. We want to emphasize/underline that we never would have been able to land such an important deal without the priceless and close partnership with Stenhus Gymnasium. Also, it will be exciting to be able to draw from the unique expertise available on several levels in the institution.”
Even though the municipality of Holbæk is not directly involved with the Centre of Excellence administratively or economically, the excitement of the new agreement can be traced back to the City Hall, as well.
“That the badminton elite of Europe will be training and living in Holbæk, will provide a variety of secondary effects on our local environment.”, says Mayor Søren Kjærsgaard.
“Firstly, we are talking about an elite predecessor for the training environment in and surrounding Holbæk SportsCentre, and secondly, it will also give an extremely positive influence on the brand of Holbæk municipality and the exceptional development possibilities that the area possesses. Finally, one cannot overlook the synergy that the presence of BEC will have on the work in Holbæk Badminton Club. It will bring joy and inspiration to the many citizens that play the sport now and in the future.”
Read about BEC Centre of Excellence here