Last week, our Coaching and Development Officer, Ian Bridge, attended a Para badminton training camp in Adelaide to support eight Para badminton players with the training and continued development as the prospects of tournaments and greater opportunities in Para Badminton become a more likely reality for 2022.
Ian, who is also the Australian Para badminton national coach, recently returned from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where he accompanied Australian debutants, Grant Manzoney and Caitlin Dransfield.
The training camp comes at an exciting time for Para badminton, which is continuing to see increased participation across the continent. Most of the players attending in Adelaide had all competed in the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships 2020 and it was their first time reuniting for formal training on court. It was the perfect opportunity for Ian to meet the current players after a complicated year and a half, while also meeting new players to identify talent.
The group was also delighted to be joined by Australia’s reigning under-17 women’s’ singles champion, Catrina Tan. The South Australian junior tried out badminton in a wheelchair and joined the contingent for some training sessions.
Ian was also joined by Badminton South Australia’s High Performance Manager to conduct a series of exercises and sessions for the players. Additionally, following his weekly zoom meetings with players across Australia throughout the pandemic, Ian was able to do some home visits to check out the players set up at home and see how activities can be adapted to suit.
“It was a fantastic opportunity to connect face-to-face with players once again, getting to know all of them better and seeing them in their home environments”, says Ian.