Photo by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe: Kestutis Navickas at the European Championships, April 2017.
Kestutis Navickas will be COE assistant coach
Date: 7/24/2017 11:13 AM
Published by : Emma Lollike
Badminton Europe is excited to announce Kestutis Navickas’ employment at the BEC Centre of Excellence. Navickas, 33, leaves a badminton career in his home country Lithuania behind and steps into the role as assistant coach in Holbaek, Denmark.

Navickas joins Nicola Cerfontyne as assistant coaches to head coach Jeroen van Dijk. The full coaching team for the European training centre is now complete and ready for the opening 1 September 2017.

He started playing in his hometown of Kaunas at the age of 8, and when he was only nineteen he left Lithuania and went to Germany to play for a club. He has since then practiced in most of the best European badminton centers in countries like Sweden, England, France and Spain. 

These years living abroad while playing badminton is something Navickas is very grateful for, and after the qualification period for the Rio Olympics, he returned to Lithuania and to start his own badminton academy; Kestutis Navickas Badminton Academy.

He kept practicing professionally and competed at the 2017 European Championships in Kolding, while working hard to build up the academy. When he heard about the Centre of Excellence he had to come and see it for himself. And after participating at the Selection Camp in Holbaek, he felt that the centre was just the place for him.

“I strongly believe in the project and the impact that BEC COE [Centre of Excellence] could have for European and world badminton.” Navickas says about joining the centre. 

“I have almost been in the same position as most of the players that will come to Holbaek and I have experienced a lot of support from all over the world during my career. Now it’s my turn to give back! My goal is that every player I coach reach their maximum and more. We don’t know where hard work, discipline, professionalism, and dedication can lead us – but we will do our best and soon we will find out!”

Head coach Jeroen van Dijk shares Navickas’ enthusiasm towards their future cooperation in Holbaek:

“We are extremely proud to have Kestutis to join our coaching team in Holbaek. He is a big name back in Lithuania and brings a lot of attention to the centre. What he has created in Vilnius is a quite amazing achievement, and we will have beneficial use of his experiences as a coach and badminton academy entrepreneur.”  

Navickas was assisting the Selection Camp organised in Holbaek this May, which means he is already familiar with a lot of the players for the project. He has announced his retirement from professional badminton, but will play for Holbaek Badminton Club this upcoming season.

As a men’s singles player, he earned his highest ranking at no. 38 in the world, has won the national championships in Lithuania 12 times, participated at the Olympics and won a bronze medal at the first European Games, in 2015.

Badminton Europe and the coaching staff are looking forward to welcoming all the players in Holbaek on 1 September 2017. 

Read the articles below about the announcements made for the Centre of Excellence so far:
Zvonimir Đurkinjak joins the Centre of Excellence

Stay tuned for more announcements regarding the Centre of Excellence during summer. 

E. Lollike, Badminton Europe 
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