Milan Ludík with head coach Jeroen van Dijk
Milan Ludík: I hope that BEC can help me to explore my options
Date: 5/4/2017 9:52 AM
Published by : Emma Lollike
21 badminton players are training very hard in a hall at Stenhus Gymnasium, in Holbæk, this week. The players have travelled all the way to Denmark from 15 different European countries in the hopes of getting a spot at Badminton Europe’s new high-performance training centre. 

One of them is Milan Ludík from Czech Republic. He is 24 years old and is at that stage in life where he puts badminton first. He comes from a ‘badminton family’ and started playing when he was five years old: “My dad was my coach ever since I was young, and my parents met through badminton. All my siblings used to play badminton too. Some of them stopped and started studying, but me and my sister strive for a professional level.”

Milan’s sister, Krístina Gavnholt, reached a career high when ranked no 34 in the world. She is now retired, but Milan explains that she tried something similar at a BWF training centre in Germany. 

“[..] When my sister was younger she used to be in a centre like this which was organized by BWF and she had really good experiences and it helped her to improve her level a lot. “

When Milan read the camp's announcement on Badminton Europe’s website and heard other players talk about it, he did not hesitate to apply. He wanted to see the conditions for himself to decide the best option for his future in badminton. 

“I really like the coaches, they are doing a good job so far. It is a very nice environment and well organized so that’s a very good job by Badminton Europe.”

The coaches assisting head coach Jeroen van Dijk for this selection camp are: Kestutis Navickas, Peter R. Jensen and Thomas Laybourn. Badminton Europe are in the process of accepting offers to fill the full-time positions at the training centre from September. 

The coaches are not only assisting the head coach in deciding which players should be offered a spot in the centre. This camp is also for the players to see the facilities and decide if they want to take the jump and move to a foreign country for their badminton.

For Milan, it makes sense to move here to improve his badminton: “[…] if there will be professional players and professional coaches including this great environment, and if I see that this is the best place for my future, then of course - it would be stupid not to come.”

A supporting community
Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence is being supported locally not only by the municipality of Holbæk, but also the local badminton club, Stenhus Gymnasium, its’ badminton college, and, Holbæk SportsCentre.

Holbæk SportsCentre is under construction and will be ready for the training centre by January 1st 2019. Board member and spokesman for Holbæk SportsCentre Carsten Damgaard presented the project for the players on Tuesday evening. Afterwards, Milan and the other players were able to get answers to any questions or concerns regarding the centre, accommodation, education and training. 

“I think it is an awesome project! I really like that the government of the area very much supports the sport and the whole community, in Denmark. It can be good to get not just badminton but many other sports on many different levels so that it will be one big base for the sport in the city and the area.”

It is attractive for the Czech that the facilities will be close by and the local support made a big impression on him:

“I really like that it will be close by the accommodation. [I like] all the facilities with nice running tracks in beautiful surroundings. I really admire that in Denmark it works like this, and in Holbæk that the community wants to support in a such a big way.”

Badminton is main focus
Milan is studying hotel management in Czech Republic, but being a professional badminton player is his main focus. The dream is to qualify for the Olympics, but the goal in general is to become as good a player as he can be. To reach the top 50 would be great, he says, but he has not reached his limit yet: 

“If I can push even further, it would be awesome. I don’t know my limits yet and I hope that Badminton Europe will help me to explore my options and how much I can develop.”

The selection camp in Holbæk started this Monday and will end tomorrow after lunch. Badminton Europe is very delighted to soon share who the final selection of players will be.

Find photo album from the selection camp on Badminton Europe’s Facebook. And read more about the project in Holbæk by clicking here.

Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence starts up on Friday 1 September 2017.
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