A new era of badminton in Scotland is about to take shape after Badminton Scotland announced the launch of the Pathway Club Programme today.
Players aged 7-12 are to be provided with structured weekly coaching sessions to help equip them for life in the game, and given key skills and competencies in a positive and caring club environment.
A long-term player pathway will therefore be in the offing for young players, giving them a better chance to follow in the footsteps of the likes of double Commonwealth medallist and two-time European silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour.
The programme has been designed through the Badminton Scotland Pathway Group to support clubs and coaches to develop young players by providing them with a sound technical, tactical and physical base within their own club environment and Badminton Scotland Chief Executive Anne Smillie was full of praise for the initiative.
“The launch of the Pathway Club Programme marks an extremely positive development in providing an infrastructure for young players in Scotland to train locally.
"As well as providing players, clubs and coaches with a link to the national programme, it will also strengthen and support the work of clubs and committees across Scotland.
“The initiative is linked directly with the National Junior programme and each pathway club will be visited by an allocated national coach twice a year, helping local clubs and coaches to improve.”
The programme has been developed to maximise the number of children training locally, allowing the base of those participating at a young age to expand, strengthening the club and coaching infrastructure through mentoring and ongoing support through regional staff.
It will therefore provide a more inclusive approach, creating a stronger pathway and increasing tournament entries, as well as encouraging lifelong participation in the sport.
For clubs, meanwhile, they will have the chance to deepen their understanding of key concepts involved in a training programme, as well as developing knowledge of local, regional and national tournaments.
Smillie continued: "The mentoring programme will develop club coaches and assistant club coaches and we hope it will create further opportunities in competitions and events.
"The Club Pathway Programme will be implemented at the start of the 2018/19 season with around eight clubs being included, and we hope that many more clubs will have aspirations to be part of this programme."
Clubs interested in joining the programme must apply to Badminton Scotland by Friday 15 June and key criteria must be in place for a club to become part of the Pathway Club Programme.
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