23 February, 2023

Badminton England are excited to announce further planned changes to the England Junior Performance Programme, which will come into effect following the end of the current programme year.

Changes have been announced after recent recruitment in the EJPP team last month, which included additional national pathway coaches and five age group coaches.

Some of the key changes proposed include the following:

  • The removal of the defined programme levels of Progress, Engage and Discover. There will no longer be identified players on the EJPP for a year at a time and there will be no review process or trials taking place this year.
  • The performance team are currently looking to implement a new ‘transition group’, which will include around 10-12 identified players that are committed to badminton with an aim of transitioning towards full-time training at the NBC following the end of their junior career. Identification of players for this group will be based upon consideration by a selection panel of coaches.
  • International tournaments attended by the EJPP will move towards providing opportunities and exposure to players from U13 to U19 age groups.
  • Training camps will be hosted relevant to age group categories from U11 through to U19, rather than by group as currently hosted by the EJPP.
  • Invitations to training camps and international tournaments will be via invitation from the EJPP team and will be based on performances at domestic gold tournaments, observations from national pathways and national age group coaches and consideration of rankings.
  • Clearly defined EJPP performance behaviours which the EJPP will align to when hosting activities and include within selection considerations.

The rationale for the proposed changes to the EJPP include:

  • Providing the ability for the EJPP to recognise and reward players for performance improvements at gold tournaments throughout the year.
  • Increase inclusivity and opportunities for more players to attend EJPP camps and international tournaments, as invitation is based on observations at gold tournaments, performances and rankings.
  • International tournament invitations by selection from Badminton England to non-championship events based on most recent performances and rankings will give greater opportunity to attend an international event.
  • The focus on age groups at camps and tournaments will support an increase in the number of players able to access EJPP opportunities across the pathway.
  • Through age group coaches and national pathway coaches, the programme will have a greater understanding and knowledge of players in the junior pathway and the EJPP will have the opportunity to work with a wider group of players, coaches and parents.
  • There will be an increased emphasis on the importance of junior players competing in gold circuit tournaments across the year, due to these forming a key part of selections. Non-attendance at gold tournaments could therefore impact selection for camps and international tournament opportunities.
  • Changes to championship policies will include a stipulation for players to have played in a minimum percentage of gold tournaments in the required timeframe to be eligible for selection to represent England.
  • Defined performance behaviours regarding culture and standards will align to all future EJPP activity to support players developing whilst at camps or tournaments.
  • A greater emphasis will be placed on working directly with the network of coaches who are working with junior players.
  • More focused support to a small, identified group of junior players who are seriously considering badminton as a career, with the intention to support development and the required capabilities to transition successfully into senior full-time training.

Badminton England will continue to work through the finer details of the changes and look forward to providing further information and detail in the next few months.

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