Badminton pathway coach Kat Hurrell lauds new trailblazing programme

·3-min read
Kat Hurrell

BADMINTON pathway coach Kat Hurrell believes the young athletes on a trailblazing Commonwealth Games programme called Team England Futures will benefit hugely from meeting Olympic and Commonwealth medallists writes Alec McQuarrie.

Hurrell, from Winchester, is based at the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes and was delighted to be in Loughborough for a special ‘Immersion Camp’ over the weekend.

The Team England Futures programme will see over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff given the opportunity to attend the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, watch live sporting action and take a first-hand look behind-the-scenes.

The programme seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games, while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.

Support staff like Hurrell, 34, had the chance to meet SportsAid ambassadors like double Commonwealth medallist Leon Taylor and believes it is an invaluable experience for the stars of the future

“For the young athletes to meet those who have been there and done it makes it all feel a lot more achievable,” said Hurrell, speaking in Loughborough, where athletes and support staff had the chance to meet each other, visit Kitting Out and experience workshop sessions on topics such as working with the media, mental wellbeing and anti-doping.

“I think when you see people competing on a TV screen, it feels like a dream that’s a little bit more removed.

“When you actually get to meet people it bridges the gap and it makes people think, ‘Oh, I could actually do that.’

“It’s really great that we’re able to start doing things in person again, because it feels so much more real.

“Meeting in person you do form better connections. You feel more part of a team, you get to see the atmosphere and walk around it.”

And Hurrell is thrilled that she will see behind the scenes at the Games in Birmingham this year.

“I’m really excited the Commonwealth Games is in England and it’s great to be a part of it,” she added.

“Also it’s great to be involved with the Team England Futures programme, to come in and mix with new people, to experience a multi-sport event which I’ve not done in a professional capacity.

“It’s hard to get exposure to these events and there’s a lot of people that want to be a part of it. To actually get the invite is really good. I’m always looking for new opportunities to challenge myself.”

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.

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