(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Europe trains together
Date: 1/8/2021 4:14 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Under the flag of World Class Project, European nations are finally able to unite together and train in Thailand ahead of the World Tour tournaments. 

The World Class Project’s core initiative is to build opportunities for cooperation between national teams towards the common goal of developing world class players. 

During this collective effort, high-level coaches, performance staff and players are encouraged to share knowledge and experience. This can include scientific knowledge, tactical insights, and general badminton philosophies.

This can only truly be achieved when the top players physically come together to train in one place. The sparring element is a vital part of the project. Being able to battle regularly against other top players is a clear path to success. 

Much preparation and discussion have taken place regarding this. Addressing how Europe’s top players can compete with the dominance of Asia in the sport is a key target for many nations and there is a strong message echoing across the continent that encourages Member Associations to more regularly come together for high-level training and sparring. 

This is particularly poignant in an Olympic year, as Europe would like to build on the results achieved at Rio 2016, where medals returned to Europe in four out of the five categories for the first time. However, in 2020, with the heightened and changeable restrictions in many European countries, it has been difficult to organise official training as part of the World Class Project.  

However, this time in Thailand, Europe has successfully come together to train in preparation for the upcoming World Tour events.  

Fabrice Vallet, Deputy National Technical Director, shared his delight and thanks on behalf of the European coaches of the top countries together with Badminton Europe for the hard work in getting this common training organised.

-I would like to thank everyone for the support you gave us to create the opportunity to practice together. Despite several attempts previously to organise training, we finally achieve to practice together during the Thailand Open.

-I strongly believe that it should be the start of new cooperation to make Europe stronger and not only during competition, he ends.

A promising future for the World Class Project
Particular praise was directed towards Jacob Oehlenschlaeger, Badminton Europe Development & High Performance Senior Manager who has done a great job for the organisation with BWF to make this possible. There has been positive feedback from Bangkok showing that it is now running well with the top European countries attending and training together. 

- It is absolutely great that it has been possible to organise common practice for the European top nations. It has not been possible to coordinate and organise this training without the smooth cooperation and communication with the coaches. I´m very pleased that our World Class project is moving forward despite the difficult time with the pandemic, said Jacob Oehlenschlaeger.

-I´m looking forward to taking more steps with World Class project in 2021. Good luck to all European players in Thailand, he adds. 

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