Harare, Zimbabwe – The Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) Training Camp ushered in a transformative experience for young badminton talents as they geared up for the U-15 Championships in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Taking place from December 6 to 8, the training camp served as a pivotal platform for players to fine-tune their skills, build camaraderie, and gain valuable insights before diving into the championships. BCA, known for its successful organization of such camps, remains dedicated to nurturing the potential of U-15 players, understanding the importance of comprehensive development in both technical and tactical aspects.
The camp saw participation of 63 players representing eight countries: Mauritius, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Botswana, and Tunisia. Coaches from these nations also participated in the camp.
Investing in Future Champions
BCA’s commitment to the development of badminton is evident through the financial support extended to all participating countries. The grant facilitated the attendance of these countries to the camp. The training sessions was conducted by BCA Development Managers, Mr. Bernadin Bokpe and Dr. Ahmed Reda. The training aimed to elevate the players’ skills, strategic thinking, and overall game proficiency.
The camp’s significance extends beyond immediate preparation for the U-15 Championships; it plays a crucial role in the long-term development of participating Member Associations (MAs). Recognizing that some MAs are still in their developmental stages, BCA strategically organizes such camps to accelerate their growth.
BWF Dual Career Programme: Balancing Education and Sports
In conjunction with the training camp, the U-15 players were introduced to the BWF Dual Career Programe. This program, designed to support athletes in their education and sports pursuits, equips them with the skills necessary to navigate both aspects successfully. It stands as a testament to BCA’s commitment to holistic player development.
Player Testimonials Reflect Success
The impact of the training camp was evident through the positive testimonials from the participants. Ricardo Vigario from South Africa emphasized the significance of getting a “court feeling” before matches, highlighting the positive impact on their upcoming performances. Yi Wen Li from South Africa spoke about the camp’s success in facilitating learning, skill development, and the opportunity to forge new friendships across the African continent.
Participants from various countries echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the camp’s role in improving their on-court performance, socializing with players from different nations, and acquiring new skills and techniques.
A Glimpse Into Participants’ Perspectives:
Ricardo Vigario (South Africa):
“It was nice to see all the teams gearing up, and most importantly, we managed to have the court feeling prior to the games. That is something very positive for our upcoming matches in the Championships.”
Yi Wen Li (South Africa):
“The training camp was a great success and also a great way of learning new skills and techniques that we can use in the tournament. It has also helped me to meet new friends from all over Africa.”
Alfred Bonde (Zimbabwe):
“I learned a lot from the training camp. It has helped me regarding my footwork on court and also fine-tune my other shots such as smash, drop, net shot, clear, and amongst many others. The BWF Dual Career Programme has also helped me a lot, and I think that now everyone is more conscious and more focused.”
Prajna Ragoonundun (Mauritius):
“I really appreciated how the training camp was conducted; it was very professional. We managed to get an insight into the various training that was given to us. It was very useful both technically and tactically as it will help us throughout our championships.”
Keone Matlakakhumo (Botswana):
“It was very good, and I really enjoyed the camp as I managed to learn some new skills and a new way of thinking on the court. The BWF Dual Career Programme has also helped me a lot into thinking for the future and how I can implement the program.”
Traore Aboubacar (Ivory Coast):
“The training camp was very beneficial for me and my team as we managed to see everyone from all countries participating. It was also nice to make friends from all over our continent. The BWF Dual Career Programme was also brought to us, and we take it very seriously as we believe our future lies in that.”
Malika Mohamed Mahmoud Hassan Ali (Egypt):
“It was really helpful prior to the championships as we managed to learn new skills and also get the court and shots’ feelings. It has also helped me to make new friends. The BWF Dual Career Programme was also conducted, and I will duly implement it once I’m back in Egypt after my exams.”
Acknowledgment and Gratitude
BCA expressed gratitude to the Zimbabwe Badminton Association for hosting the U-15 Championships and providing facilities for the training camp. The collaborative efforts aim to create a positive and empowering environment for young shuttlers to excel in both sports and education.
As the U-15 Championships unfold, the impact of the training camp and the BWF Dual Career Programme on these aspiring athletes will undoubtedly resonate, contributing to the growth and dynamism of badminton in Africa.