Badminton England has today officially endorsed Loughborough University, the UK’s number one sports university, as the NGB’s ‘England Badminton Development Centre’.
The new partnership formalises a longstanding relationship between the two institutions, one that has seen many of the nation’s current and previous stars transition from a joint education and training environment to full time integration into the England squad.
Badminton England believes the new partnership with Loughborough University will open up opportunities for accelerated player progression by providing an additional training environment that can support players to win medals at senior level now and into the future, all whilst setting players up for life off court through study.
It will also see increased sharing of best practise between coaching teams.
Speaking on the endorsement, Jon Austin, Performance Director at Badminton England said:
“Following the funding cuts, we have considered carefully how we operate and where we can collaborate more effectively for the greater benefit of badminton. The Loughborough Sport model is one that is widely respected internationally. Their investment and commitment to badminton – both from a player and coaching perspective – has positioned them as being the most successful badminton programme across the education sector.”
English badminton has seen first-hand the results of this focus, with the latest star to come off the Loughborough Sport pathway now holding court as the nation’s best.
The University boasts Chloe Birch, England’s reigning national champion and number one, amongst their recent alumni. Birch will make her Commonwealth Games debut in the Gold Coast next month as part of Team England.
Commenting on the new partnership Loughborough’s Performance and Development Director Richard Wheater said:
“We’re delighted to confirm our status as England Badminton Development Centre, which will further strengthen our ties with Badminton England. Badminton England has a proven track record of World and Olympic success and we believe this expertise and knowledge will be in invaluable to our student-athletes both on and off the court.”