A group of players from West Norfolk Junior Badminton plus several from Norwich and Dereham attended the club’s ninth annual coaching weekend at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes organised by squad manager Roger Cetti.
The players, ranging in age from 11 to 18, some of whom returning for a fourth and fifth time, were privileged to be coached by current English National Women’s doubles champion, Heather Olver and Scottish international doubles champion Patrick MacHugh.
The group were excited to meet British number one singles player, Rajiv Ouseph, and he joined them for a ‘Q & A’ session and photos. Heather recently represented Team GB at the Rio Olympics, and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth games.
She is ranked world number 22 in women’s doubles. Patrick has won men’s doubles titles at the Hungarian and Iceland Internationals, and is currently ranked world number 53 in mixed doubles.
They were assisted on the Saturday by Badminton England employee and level 2 coach Mark Stanley.
The group was accompanied by West Norfolk coaches Robin Cooper, Norma Bowen, Jeremy Wakefield and Helaine Wyett, club captain and level 1 coach, Ben Watts and ex-West player and L2 coach, Adam Stubbing, who now lives in Milton Keynes.
The national coaches taught high quality techniques. They used their new skills in a team competition, consisting of singles, doubles and “triples” matches, with Patrick’s team, captained by Dan Avey winning by 20 games to 16. They finished with fun doubles games, which Heather and Patrick joined in.
l WNJB is sponsored by Roythorne’s Garage of North Wootton.