With the recent announcement of two Scottish players, Imogen Bankier and Susan Egelstaff in Team GB; it is definitely an inspiring time to be a junior badminton player.
The selection of both players is a fantastic example of where hard-work, commitment, talent and BELIEF can get you.
In May this year BADMINTONscotland
ran an open ballot, giving 6 Junior National Squad players the chance to be part of a programme similar to that of Achieve 2014 with a trip to the 2012 London Olympics the reward. The 6 players; Erin Waddell, Claire Rogers, Basia Grodynska, Christopher Grimley, Adam Pringle and Jack Stevenson plus 3 coaches will travel to Milton Keynes on the 29th
July. The group will then attend 2 Olympic badminton sessions at Wembley Arena on the 30th
July and will also take part in a training session during their visit. During the trip the players will be given the opportunity to watch some of the world’s top players competing and will be involved in keeping video and written blogs of their experience. It is hoped that the trip will not only be inspirational and motivating for the players but will also give each of them an insight into what it is like to compete in a multi-sport event.
I have spoken to many of the players already, and to say the players are excited about attending the Olympics is huge understatement. It is hoped that the tremendous achievements of Imogen and Susan may instil in a number of Scottish juniors that BELIEF that may one day also see them selected for Team GB at an Olympic Games. It would be fantastic to reach a point where Scottish players grow up and don’t dream of representing Team GB but BELIEVE they can one day represent Team GB.
In 2010, two Junior National Squad players, Josh Neil and Caitlin Pringle were selected to be part of the Achieve 2014 programme. The Achieve 2014 programme was designed to enhance the winning opportunities of Scottish athletes on the world stage. The programme gave 30 up and coming junior athletes across a range of sports the chance to experience a multi-sport event as part of their future development.
Research has shown that an athlete’s performance at their first multi-sport Games, like the Commonwealth Games or Olympics, is often negatively affected by the completely different scale and environment to that of their usual single sport championships. However with prior multi-sport Games experience, team members are more likely to perform to their full potential.