Junior Performance Programme: Latest updates

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Badminton England are delighted to announce the latest updates to the England Junior Performance Programme, which were implemented from July 1.

The changes are the next step in Badminton England’s exciting revamp of the Junior Programme, designed to foster and nurture the next generation of budding badminton talent. 

The latest changes build on the outlined changes announced in February 2023, which include increasing inclusivity and opportunities for more players to attend EJPP camps and international tournaments and more focused support to a small, identified group of junior players who are seriously considering badminton as a career.

Badminton England Performance Director Morten Frost said: “We are focusing on the domestic circuits and making sure it’s more accessible for everyone. 

“We want to do this because we want to focus and spend the money more wisely, and we will try to ensure that whatever we have is used in the best possible way.   

“Hopefully we’ll close the gap not only between Europe and Asia but also between us and some of the other European countries. 

“We have made tons of changes and we’re really looking forward to how it’s all going to pan out. It’s really exciting times. 

“We hope it’s going to be really good and something worthwhile for badminton here in England.”

One of the initatives discussed by Badminton England from last year’s update to the programme was the implementation of a new ‘transition group’, with 10-12 identified players committed to badminton and with an aim of transitioning towards full-time training at the NBC following the end of their junior career. 

Beginning from July 1st, this transition group will become a regular feature of Badminton England’s Junior Programme, with players fortunate to be selected having access to day-time senior squad training and full support from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS). 

Badminton England EJP Programme Coach Kathryn Hurrell added: “It’s all about trying to accelerate the development of these players and their performance behaviours, technically, tactically, physically, mentally to prepare them for the lifestyle of being a full-time athlete. 

“We will be inviting players to be part of the transition group who are showing they’re dedicated to playing badminton and have a good foundation in their sport but also the performance behaviours necessary to be a full-time athlete.   

“Those players will show consistently that they’re working to improve their badminton, that they’re making good choices off-court and are able to manage the demands of school, social, family and all the things that we feel are really important. 

“Our job is to support these players in addition to what they’re getting through the programme.”

An online update call to the network was recently for those that could join, outlining the below changes in more detail.

Some of the latest key changes include:  

  • Removal of Discover, Engage, Progress identified groups from 1st July   
  • No annual review / trials   
  • Camps to be based on Age Groups   
  • Invitation basis for all EJPP Camps / International tournaments, based on factors such as recent domestic Gold performances / results, observations, rankings etc and by direct invitation from EJPP. Important caveat to note that moving forwards, invitations to Camps will be based on players having competed in their own age group Gold Tournament.
  • Focus on development / promotion of key performance behaviours at all EJPP activity & in communications   
  • EJPP will attend international tournaments from U13 age groups to U19, providing earlier exposure to international players
  • Introduction of a Transition Group of 10-12 players, supported by TASS and with access to day-time Senior Squad training

The rationale for the changes to the EJPP include:

  • Recognising/rewarding individuals for their performances and progress   
  • Increased opportunities for more players to engage with EJPP activity based on new, more flexible structure
  • Increased activity at U11-U15 age groups & exposure to international tournaments (at U13&U15 age groups)   
  • Support strengthening of the domestic circuit with key emphasis on players playing in their own Age Group Gold Tournaments for invitation to Camps
  • Focus on development / promotion of key performance behaviours at EJPP activity
  • Increased collaboration with the network 
  • Focused support for identified individuals evidencing trajectory, commitment and key principles aligned to EJPP aims / representing England in future

Further information on the changes to the England Junior Performance Programme can be found here.

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