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13 October 2009 | PR 09/136

Player promotes Japan match with coaching clinic

Anthony Clark and students from South Wolds Community School

Anthony Clark and students from South Wolds Community School

Pupils from South Wolds Community School in Keyworth took part in a training session with Olympic badminton player Anthony Clark just days before the Nottinghamshire athlete joins up with his England team mates to face Japan at Loughborough University. 

The 2008 European mixed doubles champion was joined by fellow British international Ben Stawski and Loughborough University’s Tom Armstrong and Mike Adams who put on a demonstration for the sixth form pupils before teaching them some of the basics of the game.

And the learning was not all one way as the students, all of whom are studying Japanese language at South Wolds, taught the players some of the key calls they can expect to hear when they face Japan this Saturday (17 October) in the second of back-to-back international matches. 

The students stepped in to umpire the demonstration match in Japanese and Clark was impressed with their grasp of the language as well as their badminton prowess.

“It was really good to get the South Wolds pupils playing badminton with us and I was really impressed with their standard,” he said. “It can sometimes be difficult to attract young players to badminton with the draw of the better known sports like football, netball and rugby, but I hope our visit today has shown them how skilful it can be. 

“Trying to get people to see first hand what elite players are capable of is important. A lot of people think of badminton as a recreational sport, not the fast moving, dynamic, explosive game that it really is at the top level. I hope many of them will be able to come and see us play in Loughborough at the weekend.”

For Clark, this Saturday’s fixture is effectively a home match and he is looking forward to being a part of the first England match to be hosted in Leicestershire for over 15 years.

“It’s a perfect scenario to be able to play an international fixture just 10 minutes from where I live,” he said. “It’s great that all my friends and family can come and see me play.

“I’ve trained at Loughborough University for nearly 14 years now. That’s such a long time and I’ve always said I wanted to play in an international fixture there, so to be able to gain a full blown England cap is really nice. I hope a lot of local people are able to turn out and support us.”

Team England take on Japan at Loughborough University this Saturday (17 October) from 5.45pm. The matches will be played under the five-match Sudirman Cup format of men’s and women’s singles and doubles and one mixed.

Tickets for this exciting evening of badminton, which is supported by the East Midlands Development Agency, are on sale now from www.theticketfactory.com and in person from the Loughborough University Sports Reception. Tickets cost £12 for adults, £10 for BADMINTON England members and £6 for concessions (under 16s, OAPs and students).

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1.  Anthony Clarke has represented Great Britain at two Olympic Games and has won two world, five Commonwealth and six European medals, including European Mixed Doubles gold in 2008. More recently he revived his partnership with Olympic silver medallist Nathan Robertson to claim men’s doubles gold at the Aviva Singapore Open – Britain’s first ever World Super Series win.

2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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