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March 2, 2023

Another packed month saw juniors at all levels sharpening their skills and honing their craft, with domestic camps and international events giving valuable experience to a range of young shuttlers.

Here is our round-up from February’s action:

Rajvi Parab scoops three medals at U15 8 Nations  

Rajvi Parab took home a bronze, silver and gold from the U15 8 Nations tournament in Ludinghausen, Germany.

The youngster came out on top in an all-English girls’ singles final against Yashica Racharla, winning 21-16 21-7 in her second final of the day.

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Earlier, Parab and her partner Aahna Bhatia had claimed silver in the girls’ doubles, beaten 21-17 21-7 by Danish pair Sophia Loudrup and Mille Sorensen in the showpiece having not dropped a game in their run to the final.

And in the Team Tournament, England comprehensively claimed bronze after triumphing 8-1 over the host nation.


Following a 6-3 loss to France, the young English shuttlers swept aside both the Netherlands and Switzerland by 9-0 scorelines to finish second in Group A.

Elsewhere, boys’ doubles duo Kalyan Manoj and Sajan Senthuran reached the quarter-finals, as did Joel Joby and Siddhanth Shirol, before both fell to Danish opposition.

Chong and Harrison in Italian Junior Open epic 

Dillon Chong reached the round of 32 at the Italian Junior Open in Milan at the end of February, beating Romania’s Vlad Dehelean 21-8 21-8.

The Englishman would eventually succumb to Swiss shuttler Loris Dietrich 21-19 21-12, and Chong was also in action in the men’s doubles event with Andrew Harrison.

Their 52-minute round of 32 match was eventually won by their French opponents but Axel Bastide and Matys Duru were pushed all the way, in a dramatic 21-17 21-23 19-21 thriller.

Half-term training camp gives juniors taste of next steps

The mid-February half-term break proved an excellent opportunity for England’s Progress and Engage players to train alongside seasoned professionals.

The U17 national squad visited the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes for three days before the U19s arrived in the latter half of the week.

Singles players worked specifically on neutralising in defence, on net skills and controlling their lifts, while doubles players focused on the role of the net player and how to engage them more in the rally.

In addition, England’s next generation of badminton stars also took part in a number of workshops to supplement their on-court training.

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These including strength and conditioning sessions on warm-ups, all-important communication skills and CV writing run downs led by Badminton England’s Lifestyle Practitioner.

There was time for practical nutrition workshops too, where the youngsters got hands on experience preparing a well-balanced dinner and post-training protein snacks.

Both age groups were fortunate to have input from an experienced group of staff and network coaches, including Toby Penty who led an in-depth Q&A session and shared his experience with the group.

We also introduced our new Strength and Conditioning Coach to the players, someone who will become a familiar face at future England Junior Performance Pathway camps.

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Badminton England coach Kat Hurrell said it was a brilliant chance for the age-grade shuttlers to integrate themselves into the senior squad and learn key lessons that will prove invaluable as they make the next step in their careers.

Hurrell said: “It’s great for our young players to test themselves against our established senior squads, and it’s also been really good for our slightly more senior players to share some of their knowledge with the youngsters, knowing that they’ve been there just a few years ago.

“We had a good mix of players and coaches coming in and it’s been really good for the players to get lots of insight from a great team of coaches from all around the country.”

YAE selection event

Find out about the eight U11 players selected for the YONEX All England friendly match, as well as the Nottinghamshire U17 Gold and Kent U13 Gold events, in February’s domestic wrap.

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