Archive for September, 2012

Delphine in action in Poland

One of the biggest perks I have while travelling around the Badminton Europe circuit is that I get to see a variety of new and fearless talent emerge onto the circuit. I am always asked what tournaments are my favourite to attend and people are slightly shocked when I say an International Series in Slovakia or an International Challenge in Finland. The reason for this is simple I get to see new talent on a regular basis and this excites me.

Last year the players that excited me most were the new wave of Ukrainians and Turks that burst onto the scene, this year it is the new wave of French youngsters such as Julian Maio, Marie Batomene and my personal favourite Delphine Lansac.

Lansac made her senior debut at the European Men’s and Women’s team championship in Amsterdam back at the beginning of the year and her recent run to the quarter finals at the Polish Open was for me the highlight of the weeks play.

I took some time out with Delphine to put 20 questions to her about her life on and off the court and personally it was such an insight into the youngster that we decided to publish it on Badminton Europe’s main website. 

To read the Q & A with Delphine just click HERE and watch out for this young lady in the future. 

Finals – Why always on a Sunday?

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

Belgian TV ready for Finals

I have just returned home from my trip to the Belgian International which, and from an organisational capacity, is consistently the best prepared tournament on the badminton Europe circuit. Finals day in Belgium is always a glitzy affair with a fully loaded TV spec’d court and lighting. The accompanying pomp and pizzazz that goes along with a full TV production of any indoor sport is also a feature of finals day in Belgium which is a spectators dream.

However, and through the course of my travels around Europe, the big issue for all organisers always hinges on how many spectators will they get into the halls and stadiums on finals Sunday. It is always a talking point and a source of stress filled anxiety for these hard working organisers.

My question is always this to these people, why do you always have to have your finals on a Sunday? We all know that in Austria the finals take place on a Saturday and while I was against this concept in my earlier badminton life I have come full circle to support this idea of Saturday finals.

Yes I hear all the arguments for and against the idea but for me the evidence stacks up to having finals on a Saturday. From travelling around Europe and looking at it from a Human perspective people do not want to go out on a Sunday afternoon and sit 6 hours in a hall.

From what I have seen, and this is without statistical proof, most halls have more people in them on a Saturday than on Sunday’s.  This is excluding any players that I see and I will use the example of Belgium this weekend gone by. While there was a pretty sizable crowd in the hall for Sunday’s final there had to be approximately 25% more people there on Saturday.

There are all the arguments against this idea which range from organisational issue to traditional views and back to organisational issue again. But if Austria can do it then it is possible in my opinion. For me semi finals and finals on the same day is an idea worth exploring at circuit level.

While this may be too much for many tournament organisers to handle I also feel that having six finals on a Sunday is just bordering on insane. There is no way that we can expect any individual to come to a tournament and sit through six hours of badminton on a Sunday afternoon. People have too much to do and real lives to live and Sunday is that critical watershed in the week where people prepare for the new week ahead. Preparing both

No ill effects playing semis & finals on same day in Austria

mentally for work and for school is of paramount important mentally more so than physically come Sunday afternoon.

If it has to be Sunday well then why not try two finals on Saturday evening and three on a Sunday. It is my opinion that there is a greater chance that you will get more people into the hall for three hours as opposed to six. There is still some of the day left if the Sunday finals only last for a handful of hours.

Oh yes I hear the groans of displeasure already as to what matches would be played on the ‘diluted’ Saturday finals. All I know as a man and if I was a men’s singles or a men’s doubles player I would prefer to play in front of more spectators and if that was a Saturday evening well I would prefer it for sure. For me it is a no brainer.

Finally I do know that the organisers around Europe are all open to new ideas and new formats. I do know that Badminton Europe listen to these people and there is a mutual consensus to try and make changes and make things better. I thing we are very fortunate to have this wonderful people organising our circuit tournaments with such passion and drive and I am 100% confident that the future of the game is safe in their hands.

(The opinion expressed in this article are purely personal and form no part of any associated organisation or society)

And Now I Have Seen It All…

Posted: September 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

David the artist

It appeared to be just another normal day at the Polish Open. All the matches were running on time and the tournament was going according to plan for everyone.

Well everyone except Sophie Brown that is. Sophie arrived on court to play her semi final and came to the tournament without her name on the back of her shirts. From my knowledge at International Series level a player must have their name on their back from semi final onwards. I don’t think anyone told Sophie that!!

The referee informed Sophie than she could not play without her name on her shirt and with no other shirts in her bag the experienced old head of David Lindley decided there was only one thing for it….somehow write her name on the back of her shirt.

The photo shows David in the middle of writing BROWN on the back of Sophie’s shirt in what looks something very close to pritstick glue.

As a coach you never really know what is going to come around the next corner but one thing is for sure David does not have a career in sign writing.

What a really funny incident.