Jenny Wallwork resigns from GB Badminton.

Posted: February 25, 2013 in Uncategorized
Jenny in happier times alongside Nathan Robertson

Jenny in happier times alongside Nathan Robertson

Jenny Wallwork in badminton terms has been one of GB’s most succesful athletes in recent years. Jenny is not a person I know very well on a personal level but I have always found her very approachable and willing to talk and give interviews at any tournaments and always with that cheeky grin on her face.

Jenny’s first word to me was ‘No difficult questions please’ so I always made it my business to try and get one in that challenge her to deviate from her media trained responses. Even with the odd curve ball Jenny always answered with a smile which always impressed me.

It was with sadness that I learned of Jenny’s resignation, not retirement, from GB badminton this morning which follows hot on the heels of Imogen Bankiers less public return to Scotland after the London Olympics and is sure to rock the GB high perform mance programme to its core.

On top of this the great Kenneth Jonassen returns to Denmark in the summer and the more cynical of us would jump on the band wagon and claim all is not well in GB badminton.

In a week that saw Poul-Erik Hoyer announce his official candidacy for the top role in the BWF with the slogan “Without players there is no BWF and as administrators we must never lose sight of that.” maybe some federations also need to adopt this slogan before all is too late.

Below is Jenny Wallworks official resignation letter and reading between the lines all is clearly not well in-house. I look forward to a response for GB badminton.

No voice, no choice!

It is with regret that at the age of 26 and entering the prime of my career I feel the necessity to submit my resignation from the GB Badminton Programme.

As the most successful female player with 42 Caps and the highest World Ranked player over the last 4 years I feel I have no voice or direction in the way my career is going and find myself in an impossible situation other than to remove myself from the World Class Performance Programme.

It is an athletes’ career and not the Performance Directors and an athlete should have a say in its direction. Having spoken to a number of our most successful players over recent years it is clear that they have been strong minded, highly motivated and independent individuals prepared to take ownership of their own development.
It will certainly not be a tick box exercise and an on going chase to secure funding that will determine success.

I know my dreams and aspirations were achievable as my results and achievements so far will testify but in my attempt to move forward in my development my views have been discounted. “Continue with the programme given to you or submit your resignation” was an ultimatum recently given to me.
I feel this indicates insecure, untrusting and incapable leadership and I am not prepared to be dictated to and therefore feel I am unable to continue with a programme in which I have no confidence. An unhappy player in the training environment has little or no chance of success. This sounds somewhat similar to Imogen’s situation several months ago.

I am clearly not the first to resign and under the current regime I suspect will not be the last.
I am also aware that when the system is challenged there can only be one outcome, nevertheless feel it important to make a stance for what I believe in and to express my views and concerns for the future of the game in this country.

I should mention that I will always be most grateful to my personal Coaches Julian Robertson and Andy Wood and the excellent EIS support staff in whom I have benefitted greatly over my eight years at the National Badminton Centre. Thank you to the physiotherapists who got me back to full fitness following my first serious injury so I was able to compete at last weeks European Team Championships.

I wish all my fellow players, friends and colleagues every success for the future but it is now time for me to look back with pride at my accomplishments and to move on.

Jennifer Wallwork
25th February, 2013.

  1. snakey says:

    Well done Jenny. You have been a fantastic role model.
    Badminton England are Wreckers.
    They need new direction and they need to learn some respect.
    The rot starts at the top of the organisation but some of them have been around so long that they need to get a new job.
    They are left with many second rate players, they treat juniors appallingly which is why their best juniors have left the sport, they certainly do not support, they create friction and don’t work with the most talented. They also allow some coaches who are incapable of working with youngsters, and I would consider abusive, to supervise youngsters at top tournaments. They ignore comments and complaints from the parents of top juniors too. They have lost two of their best hopes for the future from the U17s in the last 12 months…sad.

    They are a shambles. Good luck with whatever you do next, well done for standing your ground.

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