Photo: Mark Phelan/Badminton Europe

2019 at the “Centre of Excellence”

12/28/2019 10:08 AM | |  Lilit Poghosyan
Badminton Europe’s “Centre of Excellence” has had some major achievements during the year 2019. To wrap up the year, we talked to the head coach Jeroen van Dijk.

-Looking back at 2018 and comparing it with the current year there has been a great deal of work done and today the “Centre of Excellence” seems on the highest level it has ever been. As the head coach, what is your opinion about the development of the Centre? Are you satisfied with the work that has been done?

Yes I am very satisfied. It has taken us two and a half years to build up the “Centre of Excellence”. We are now working on a level that we hoped we would be when we made the start up plans for the CoE.

- There have been lots of players joining the Centre for short or long-term stays, since the CoE moved to Holbaek Sportsby. How important is it for the overall development of the level in Europe?
I think that’s very important. Many players in Europe have training facilities but are missing the daily sparring. By having the CoE we have created a platform where European players can get sparring or training. I am very pleased that we have been able to become very flexible so that we can accommodate almost all the European singles players.
- 2019 has been a busy year at the CoE. Which achievements would you highlight and why are they important?
In the case of the CoE build up we are very happy that we have been able to increase the number and level of players at the CoE. We are also pleased that the BWF has made it financially possible for each continent to have one spot at the CoE. These two are very important because we are delivering a better training environment for all players.
On the badminton performance side: 3 players qualified for the European games, 3 players qualified for the World Championships, Felix reached the quarterfinals in the European Games and almost won a medal, Jonathan Dolan won the Czech Open and Cyprus international, Dimitar Yanakiev won the Bulgarian International Championship.
We are also very proud that we have been able to improve the players who have been at the CoE from the start. Felix has been our best example; he moved up on the World Ranking from 126 in September 2017 to 63 this week.
I think it is also an achievement that we gave more than 50 scholarships to European players in 2019. So overall we can conclude that the CoE is working and that the CoE players are able to compete in the lower ranked international tournaments.
-With lots of goals achieved in 2019, what are the plans for 2020?
It is our goal to keep on developing the CoE, on the daily practice and increase the service level that we are giving to the players. We have around 5 players who can qualify for the Olympics and I hope that 3 will make it.
The CoE is not only a training Centre for players. We are doing much more. After the 2020 Olympics we will organize a BWF combined level 1 and 2 coach education course for (former) players, a BWF coach education level 3 course and a World Academy of Sports player pathway course for our Member Associations.

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