Posted on 21st July 2020
Alan McIlvain has been appointed as Badminton Scotland’s new Performance Coach, returning to Scotland after being on something of a tour of Europe since leaving his position at the Glasgow School of Sport in 2007.
A stint in Belgium as Head Coach at Badminton Vlaanderen and National Coach with the Belgian Badminton Federation was followed by a period as National Head Coach in Hungary.
He now returns to Scotland as the final piece in the jigsaw of Badminton Scotland’s High Performance Team, fulfilling a long-held ambition to coach the national side of his country of birth.
“I have always wanted to be a National Coach for my own country and the only reason I left Scotland and my job at Glasgow School of Sport was to get experience and build a profile for myself” said McIlvain.
“Because of the work I had done with Susan Egelstaff and in the summer schools for Badminton Europe, Badminton Vlaanderen in Belgium invited me to be their Head Coach.”
During his 10 years in Belgium, McIlvain coached Wouter Claes and Nathalie Descamp to a mixed doubles bronze medal at the European Championships in Manchester 2010, the first European medal achieved by any Belgian player.
Among other achievements, he also guided Lianne Tan to women’s singles silver at the 2015 European Games in Baku and helped Yuhan and Lianne Tan to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2012 and 2016.
In Hungary, McIlvain was instrumental in building up the National Training Centre to a higher standard, resulting in a number of foreign players asking to train at the facility.
He helped Reka Madarasz and Vivien Sandorhazi to win bronze medals in girls’ singles at the U19 European Junior Championships in 2018 and he leaves Gergely Krausz and Laura Sarosi in positions to qualify for singles at the Olympics in Tokyo 2021 – if Krausz qualifies he will be the first male Hungarian badminton player to go to the Olympics.
But the lure of returning home was too strong and McIlvain continued: “When the position of Performance Coach for Badminton Scotland came up it was a job that I could not resist.
“When I watched the Scottish European Women’s Team Championships success, I was inspired by the fighting spirit of each individual and the team spirit of the group as a whole. I would like to be part of that in the future.
“I want success for Scottish Badminton and I believe that I can make a difference, not only in the emerging talents like Rachel Sugden and Joshua Apiliga but also for top players like Kirsty Gilmour who can still achieve even more success on the European and World stage.”
Badminton Scotland’s Head Coach Ingo Kindervatar said: “We are very happy to have Alan joining us.
“It’s great to get someone with his experience on board and we believe that he will be a valuable member of our team of eager coaches and players straight away.
“He’s shown that he’s able to improve standards and challenge limits wherever he’s worked and we’re very confident that he will help us to further do the same at Badminton Scotland.”
McIlvain will start his role in October.