BADMINTON England today announced that Jens Grill is to step down as England and GB Performance Director.
Grill has decided to take a complete break from badminton after three years in the role and a total of 11 years in two spells with BADMINTON England.
The 45-year-old Dane first joined the National Governing Body in 2000 as the head coach for the World Class Start Programme and became World Class Futures head coach in 2005. Two years later he left to become Sweden’s Performance Director but returned to take up a similar role with BADMINTON England in September 2010 before becoming England and GB Performance Director in April 2011.
Grill said: “It is with great sadness that I have decided to step down. I plan to take a complete break from the sport.
“I feel it is best to leave now so that my successor has the right amount of time to shape our Olympic programme. They will arrive to find a strong coaching infrastructure and a talented squad of both experienced and emerging players and I hope they get as much pleasure out of the job as I have.
“Most importantly, they will find that a secure Olympic funding programme is firmly in place as we work towards Rio 2016.”
During his time as Performance Director, Grill has seen Rajiv Ouseph develop into a world-class player, especially with his silver medal at last week’s European Championships. He has also seen the emergence of Chris Adcock and Andy Ellis as a World Top 10 and the rise of Chris and Gabby Adcock to number five in the world after their recent success in Hong Kong where they won their first World Superseries title.
As recently as February the England men’s squad won the silver medal at the European Team Championships and both our squads have qualified for next month’s world team events, the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals in Delhi so a lot of good things are happening within the programme.
Grill added: “A number of our players will have key roles at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the World Championships in Copenhagen and I will continue to keep a close eye on the progress of the whole group. Rest assured, before I depart in early July I will make sure everything is in place for the squad to be ready to meet those challenges.”
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England who also administer the GB programme, said: “I am very disappointed to be losing Jens but the timing of his decision says everything about his integrity.
“The energy and commitment Jens has invested into the England and GB World Class Performance Programme has been world class in itself and he should be very proud of not just the achievements of the programme during his time with us but the position that he leaves for his successor as we look ahead to Rio in 2016 and beyond.
“It has been a privilege to work with Jens and I have nothing but respect for him. He deserves a well-earned rest before taking on the opportunities that will lie ahead for him.
“Our attention will focus immediately on securing somebody with the right skills, experience and character to take the programme into the Rio Olympic campaign, to work with a great team of coaches and support staff, and critically to further develop the exciting group of players who have so much to look forward to.”