Junior round-up: April

U15 Quadrangular scaled

9 May, 2024

Another month flew by for the England Junior Performance Pathway as talent on display at the U15 Home Nations Quadrangular impressed over the course of a busy April.

The Progress Easter Camp provided insight and valuable lessons across two fast-paced days of training and engagement.

Meanwhile, U11 and U13 Collaborations Days at the EIS in Sheffield, the home of the para badminton squad, helped players refine skills and pinpoint practical areas for improvement across sessions.

EJPP Engage / Progress Easter Camp

Over two days, the Progress Easter Camp allowed for focus on technical ability as well as individual check-ins with coaches and support staff.

Within singles sessions, players focused on rally-based situations to execute skills at a quicker pace and higher intensity which was also tested in match play – a large focus of the camp.

Doubles players enjoyed high level sparring with current Nottingham and Derby University talent alongside current and formal national squad players and coaches.

Maximising the opportunity to spar resulted in a significant improvement to the work-rate of players across all sessions.

Staff saw encouraging learning behaviours from the group that attended camp with a consistent positive attitude, asking questions and responding well to feedback.

Off court, players were given time to focus on their studies which helped them prepare for sessions and manage their time.

U11 and U13 Collaboration Days

The EJPP held U11 and U13 Collaboration days at the EIS Sheffield, the home of the para badminton squad.

Players and coaches were invited to two on-court training sessions led by by Badminton England’s national pathway coach and age group coach (Chris Tonks and Sara Sankey).

The U11 and U13s were challenged tactically and through in-game scenarios to refine technical areas of their play.

Training days provided an opportunity to work on collaboration as a network in day-to-day training environments and ultimately affect tournament outcomes.

Badminton England also asked players and coaches to identify areas of their game they are currently working on or would like to work on so training plans could be facilitated with sessions focused on the following:

U11

– Deep forehand neutralisation

– Court coverage and ability to move at pace under pressure

– Improving the ability to play shots with good length

U13

– Improving the ability to be able to play rear court backhands

– Focusing on the ability to stay consistent in rallies

– Looking at the technical and tactical aspects of counter-attacking

– An understanding of doubles positioning

The final U15 collaboration day of this set will take place in May and Badminton England looks forward to seeing players and their coaches there.

U15 Home Nations Quadrangular

The National Badminton Centre hosted the annual U15 Quadrangular tournament between nations England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland

Hosts England won day one’s team event as Scotland, Ireland and Wales followed in the standings. England overcame Wales and Ireland 9-0 each before taking a 7-2 win against Scotland.

The individual event followed over the course of the weekend, with England triumphing to win every gold medal of the tournament.

Yixiang Hou edged Scotland’s Alfie Martin in a boys’ singles thriller, coming from a game down to win 13-21 21-18 21-16.

Martha Ng was crowned the girls’ singles winner after beating Meghna Mahesh 21-18 21-12 in the final. Ng and Hou came together in the mixed doubles to beat fellow England talents Tejas Singh and Shraddha Gopalakrishnan.

The pair made it a hat-trick of golds when Ng joined Gopalakrishnan to make up a formidable pairing in the girls’ doubles while Hou teamed up with Oliver Wu to form a winning boys’ doubles duo.

National Pathway coach Robert Golding said: “The Coaching Team are very proud of the players performances throughout the Quadrangular tournament.

“The team worked cohesively and showed togetherness throughout, even during the Individual competition where England managed to win all five disciplines. Marth Ng and Yixiang Hou particularly stood out to win three events each.

“Focus is now swiftly moving onto U15 European championships where we will be monitoring the U15 age group thoroughly to assemble a team again capable of representing England with distinction, embodying the performance behaviours, values and courage of Badminton England.”

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