“Centre of Excellence” players: Practicing, learning and sharing the passion for badminton

11/22/2019 5:49 PM |  BadmintonEurope.com |  Lilit Poghosyan
Badminton Europe has announced new players joining the “Centre of Excellence” permanently and on scholarship. One of our new permanent players Kari Gunnarsson (Iceland), who is aiming for Tokyo 2020, has moved to Holbaek in the beginning of November. 

Kari has been enjoying his experience as a CoE player so far. He highlights the good structure of the Centre allowing the players to develop their games and stay fit and healthy:

-My first couple of weeks at the CoE have been fantastic. Before I had made the move I had seen how successful they had been in building up the CoE to a true high performance Centre. And that’s the reason I decided to move here for the Olympic year, Kari tells Badminton Europe, adding,

-The facilities are top notch, the practices are well planned out, the coaches are engaging and on top of that you have access to a physiotherapist.

Practicing in a professional environment

One of the key things that is noticeable at the CoE is the professional and motivational environment during the training sessions. Kari is glad to share the same purpose in practice with the other players:

-I am very happy with the professionalism at the Centre. At the same time the atmosphere is also relaxed and people have fun with each other. 

Currently Kari is in a build-up period to prepare for the upcoming tournaments – Welsh International, Italian International and US International Challenge by the end of this year.
-I’ve been focusing on getting stronger and working on some tactical concepts so I’ll be ready to smash the rest of the Olympic cycle. 

Read also: Kuuba: I needed to win that match

Sharing the passion for badminton

Sally Fu from New Zealand is one of the scholarship players at the “Centre of Excellence”. It’s her second visit to the CoE, the first one being in 2017, while the Centre was based at Stenhus college. 

-The main differences I have noticed at the CoE is that the facilities are a lot better than two years ago. In the room we don’t have to share anything and we manage everything ourselves. 

-The hall is also really nice compared to before because it is specific to badminton. The gym has a lot more equipment now and it is very accessible and it doesn’t get too crowded. 

One of the things that Sally likes about the CoE is the availability of the facilities during the week to have extra sessions in the gym or in the badminton hall. Besides, she is enjoying the company of the players:

-Everyone is friendly and really passionate about badminton.  

Learning new things every day

Sally is currently focusing on developing as a badminton player and learning new and different ways to practice compared to how she trains in New Zealand. Though it’s tough to keep up with two sessions a day, Sally thinks she manages it pretty well. 

-I enjoy every training session and it gives me the opportunity to learn new things every day. The trainings are going well for me so far. 

-The coaches are really supportive and check up on players daily to make sure they’re in a good condition to train, which I like a lot.

Read more about the "Centre of Excellence" here

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