Photo by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe: Hlinican playing at the European Championships in Kolding, April 2017.
Matej Hliničan joins the Centre of Excellence
Date: 8/30/2017 3:27 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
The 22-year-old Slovakian player is the 16th player to join the permanent squad at Badminton Europe’s upcoming Centre of Excellence (COE) in Holbaek. The very first training will take place this Friday and Badminton Europe (BEC) and Foundation Holbaek Sports Centre (Fonden Holbæk Sportsby – FHS) has invited the press and others interested to join them from 9 AM at Stenhus Gymnasium.

Hliničan was prevously training with Adam Mendrek and their coach Standa Kohoutek in Brno (Czech Republic). He has always been very satisfied with the training and the facilities, however, the lack of sparring was always an issue.

When Badminton Europe announced their plans to open a centre like the COE, Hliničan knew that this was going to be once in a lifetime for him. Since he was 15 years old, he has been travelling around the world for a place to train. After staying in Spain, Denmark, Mexico and Czech Republic he was tired of moving all the time.

“We don’t have a national centre in Slovakia and the coaches are not of the highest level. I got tired of moving all the time just to find a good place to train so becoming a part of something like the Centre of Excellence is something I have always been on the look-out for.”

To Hlinican, it means a great deal that the COE is not a project that lasts for a single month but that he can live permanently at the centre.

“I am very much looking forward to start training in the COE under coaches such as Jeroen and Kestutis. It will be first time to really get everything in one training package – badminton training, physical training, video analysis, and, tournament planning. Hopefully, my game will improve and I will be able to continue my successes as a senior.“

Since Hliničan was a young kid, he has dreamed about becoming the first male player from Slovakia to particiapte at the Olympic Games and reach the top 50-ranking in the world. 

He started to play badminton when he was 9 years old, and the feeling that he got when he won his first medal at international level was enough to keep going.

“I guess the feeling to have achieved something just by myself was the deciding factor to why I chose to follow a career in badminton. “

We wish Matej Hliničan and the fifteen other COE players the best of luck in Holbaek, where the coaching squad is ready to welcome them from 1 September 2017.

Go to Badminton Europe’s website to learn more about the COE-project and read all the previous announcements by clicking here.

E. Lollike, Badminton Europe
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