Badminton England are committed to improving and nurturing the young talent on our junior pathway, and in the last few months we have seen great strides and changes put into place for the training environments we provide for our pathway players.

With a restructuring of the pathway system already in place, these training camps have been key for the new system. They’ve been key to help put into practice new ideas, as we strive to help our young players to improve and learn more about the sport they dedicate so much of their time to.

It’s even more refreshing to see players travelling to other areas of the country for sparring sessions too; especially junior players who are showing great initiative to want to get better.

This article will look to round-up some of the junior pathway action and to help explain what exactly goes on at these training camps.

Warwick Camp

Warwick hosted a more traditional pathway training camp for our junior pathway players which included a nutrition workshop, circuits, physical testing and a chat with our new performance advisor!

Accompanied with all the typical aspects of a training camp – the physical testing and physical training – it saw the squad of players take time to focus on elements off court.

Players learning about nutrition can help them boost their own performances and personal health, as well as having lasting effects for the future with the learning of such vital knowledge.

With a visit from the new performance advisor on top of that, players were treated to an overall highly enriching badminton training experience steering away from the monotonous training schedules and in a camp focused on learning and enjoying the sport that they dedicate so much time to.

University of Nottingham Camp

The pathway training camp at the brilliant University of Nottingham Sports Village had a much different feel than usual. As the afternoon session had intense sparring with umpires officiating, regulatory badminton mats on the courts and even time for some media training as well.

The players had enrolled into a media day practice session in the morning session, as one of our social media consultants Run Communications helped to give our players chances to experience radio and video interviews, in an entertaining, if not untraditional, mornings work.

Some of that was put into practice in the afternoon session, where some players were treated to a short interview in front of the camera to help practice what they learned in the morning session. With some interviewing like a seasoned professional with years of experience in front of the camera.

Throughout the afternoon session, there were eight courts full of players all of differing ages, engaging in highly competitive sparring in what was a wholly beneficial session all round.

Having players who are full time at the National Badminton Centre such as Zach Russ and National Doubles Champion Ethan van Leeuwen there on the day helped to elevate the overall level of play.

As well as having the national men’s singles champion Johnnie Torjussen there too, it was a perfect opportunity for the younger players to, not just go toe-to-toe with them in match play, but to study and learn from watching them train and play close-up.

As mentioned, umpires did cover three courts, in what was an opportunity for the Umpires Association to give aspiring umpires vital experience of what it’s like to be in the chair for a game.

Malcolm Banham from the Umpires Association expressed his gratitude on behalf of the association, in what was a really beneficial day for those who attended.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to train some of our new umpires, using the chairs and the feel of a big event was invaluable.

“I hope there can be more similar events that we can work together on.

He added: “This is the sort of positive progress we need.”