7 January, 2024

The England Junior Performance Pathway got its year up and running with insightful training camps and invaluable tournament experience in January.

Players benefitted from sessions tailored to their playing needs while parents engaged in an interactive workshop where key connections were made.

A winnig trip to Strasbourg also took place for the French Borders International, with Badminton England’s U15 girls among the teams from across Europe competing after also partaking in the inaugural International Girls Cup that followed.

U15 International Girls Cup

England’s U15 girls won the newly formed U15 International Girls Cup title after beating hosts France 3-1 in the final.

The inaugural tournament attracted teams from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Czech Republic as England fielded a strong contingent of Shraddha Gopalakrishnan, Vedanshi Jain, Meghna Mahesh and Martha Ng. 

England ran out 4-0 winners against Czech Republic in the opening group stage game before defeating Germany 3-1 to put themselves in contention for the title.

In a final tie with France, England led going into the final game 2-1 following a singles and doubles win.

Martha Ng went on to win the remaining singles tie, meaning England overcame France 3-1, taking the first-ever International Girls Cup home with them.

The travelling coaching team of Robert Golding and Hayley Adcock supported the U15s in both tournaments abroad last month.

French Borders International

The winning U15 team remained in France to compete in the U15 French Borders International where they gained further experience in international competition, joining U13 players too.

Martha Ng returned home with the U15 singles gold medal before teaming up with Gopalakrishnan in U15 girls doubles for another win.

They defeated Sawoni Talati and her scratch doubles partner in two games 21-12, 21-15.

Shraddha Gopalakrishnan also reached the semi-finals of the mixed doubles with her Belgian scratch partner, missing out on the final in two tight games.

Additional notable results from the other age groups where English players travelled independently for the French Borders International included Mutiara Mandala’s U13 girls’ singles win, beating the top seed in three sets.

She also won U13 girls’ doubles alongside her Czech Republic teammate Eliska Smekalova, claiming victory in another three hard-fought sets, all whilst a year below the age group as Etienne Fan picked up bronze in the U13 boys’ singles.

EJPP Camp (Discover, Engage & Progress)

All three Junior Programme squads came together between over 6 and 7 January to complete on-court training, with new age group coaches also in attendance.

Key themes worked on throughout the camp included below tape skills, accuracy, containment and neutralising.

Discover players (U15s and below) worked on their forecourt and midcourt ability, focusing on being comfortable turning the shuttle from below the net.

For the older age groups (U16 – U19), singles players worked on experimenting with the width of shots while doubles groups worked on developing a range of shots in defensive situations.


Players were also encouraged to work higher up the court and seek opportunities to counter.

Improvements have been seen across the board in this area as intense on-court sessions went hand in hand with strength and conditioning workshops.

Programme parents were invited to attend another Working with Parents in Sport session led by Sarah Murray of Performance Edge.

In the ‘Parent Parent, Sports Parent’ workshop, discussions centred on wearing many hats as someone responsible for a young talented athlete and what makes a helpful sports parent or carer.

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