2018 European Summer School

Four of Scotland’s brightest young stars travelled to Podcetrtek, Slovenia to take part in Badminton Europe’s 2018 summer school earlier this month.

From 7-14 July Lindsey Ireland, Michael McGuire, Callum Smith and Erin Waddell joined other players from all over Europe to benefit from expert tuition from some of Europe’s top coaches while Craig McCandlish and Steven Chappell also attended the camp to develop their coaching skills.

You can read about their experiences below:


Craig McCandlish

Looking back on the BEC Summer School in Slovenia it was a true whirlwind of an experience.

I was fortunate to be one of 26 coaches from 18 countries attending the Summer School and I think it’s fair to say we all learned just as much from each other as we did from the tutors and staff coaches. Meeting so many new people with a wide range of knowledge who were all willing to share their experience is one of the best parts of the course. From discussing different ways of delivering coaching activities to new ideas on training drills to try in our own sessions the whole week was an opportunity to soak up new ideas and inspiration.

The course tutor Tom Causer was able to foster a collaborative atmosphere that encouraged all of the coaches to share in their experience to add to the wealth of knowledge he himself was able to impart. I think all of the coaches would agree that we worked hard but managed to have a lot of fun in the process. It was clear from the very first session that we were all very passionate about badminton and this helped make the work easier. When it came time to plan for our delivery sessions everyone was able to discuss what they planned to delivery and help each other improve their session plans.

Even though we had some spare time to gather our thoughts and relax between sessions we tended to spend our time together developing new friendships, playing badminton or finding out more about the similarities and differences in the sport we love across the 18 different countries we had travelled from whilst relaxing by the pool or chatting at the bar in the evening.

The facilities for the course were excellent with very comfortable accommodation, lots of good food and 15 badminton courts for the players and coaches to use. We were given lots of opportunity to practice new skills and techniques which will I think will help me provide more challenging training sessions in the future.

We spent time thinking about how to coach skills and the difficulties many of us faced during sessions. I gained some really useful techniques and new skills to overcome some difficulties I have encountered in the past, things like noise and people not being able to hear.

One memorable session involved each coach delivering a 10 minute “silent coaching” session where we had to deliver a 10-minute technical session to five other coaches without speaking. This really helped me to think about body language and physical demonstration as well as group management and will be useful in the future when sharing training space with other noisy sports.

All in all after a whirlwind week of learning and sharing it know I have learned some new skills that I will use in the future along with some new friends and experiences that I will never forget. I would like to thank Badminton Europe along with the tutors, staff coaches, my fellow coaches and the players for all of their hard work and friendship over the week and I wish them all success and hope to meet them again in the future.


Steven Chappell

Four of Scotland’s top junior players along with coaches Steven Chappell (Aberdeen) and Craig McCandlish (Stirling) took part in an intensive week of training at the BEC Summer School in Podcetrtek in Slovenia.

Lindsey Ireland (Aberdeen), Michael McGuire (Bothwell), Callum Smith (Berwickshire) and Erin Waddell (Glasgow) trained alongside 37 other junior players from throughout Europe during the intensive week-long camp. The players trained every morning and afternoon on court as well as having additional off court physical sessions during the week.

The BEC Summer School also included coach education with both coaches going home with their BWF Coach Level 1 certification and Shuttle Time teaching certifications.

The opportunity to work with some of the tutor coaches leading the camp as well as gaining additional coaching qualification was a huge motivation for me attending the camp. It was a thoroughly unique experience and it was great to meet up with coaches from other countries and share our experiences.

The first European Coaching School was held in 1982 in Austria and has continued to move around Europe ever since making it the longest running development activity in Badminton Europe’s history.


Erin Waddell

I am 16 years old and go to the Glasgow School of Sport for Badminton.  I am also a member of the National Junior Development Squad. 

I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the BEC Badminton Europe Summer School this year.  It was held in Podcetrtek, Slovenia from 7th to 14th July.  The camp is for national players aged U17.  I travelled with three other Scottish players Michael McGuire, Callum Smith and Lindsay Ireland and one of the Scottish coaches Steven Chappell.

The camp was really good.  We were split into groups and worked with different coaches on different routines.

I got the chance to work with Huaiwen Xu who used to coach us in Scotland.  It was nice to see her again but also nice to learn new things and work with different people.  Some of the warm-up routines we did were different to what we do in Scotland and were really fun.

The training was quite intense with various sessions throughout the day but we also took part in fun team-building activities like swimming, football and volleyball.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to go to this.  I learned a lot from it and made a lot of new friends from across Europe.  If you get the chance I would highly recommend that you go!


Callum Smith

I really enjoyed the training and training with different people and being coached by some different coaches. I also enjoyed making new friends and meeting up with some he hadn’t seen for a while.

My highlight was probably the tournament on the last day. It’s good to play against people you haven’t played before to gain more experience.

I also enjoyed all the off court activities such as football and swimming.


Lindsey Ireland

I had a good week at the BEC summer camp, the complex was great.

I found the training with the staff coaches helpful as they worked on consolidating shot techniques and I really enjoyed the fun games in the evening.

It was a great opportunity meeting all the different coaches but I especially liked the chance to make new friends and play girls from different countries.