The Badminton Academy at Rishworth School aims to give promising young badminton players the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge to progress in the Badminton England National circuit and gain County and international representation. The programme is lead by our Level 3 head coach Helen Calverley an ex-England player and former Rishworth student.
Whilst there is never any guarantee of future success, we believe that through hard work and dedication, our programme of technical, tactical and athletic development gives students at Rishworth all the tools required to succeed and become the best they can be. All players receive an individualised training programme delivered by our highly qualified and experienced head coach which focuses on personal skill and tactical development. The athletic development programme runs alongside this to enhance all physical components essential for each player to become the best badminton player they can be and reach their potential.
As a school, in years 7-11 we compete in the National School Games tournaments, where the standard of play in the regional rounds, and beyond, is high. Once in 6th form we compete in the British Schools 6th Form and Colleges Yorkshire Cup, which offers a high standard of match play against the best players across the county. At local level we enter teams in every age group of the Calderdale Schools Badminton League. The Rishworth Badminton Club is a community badminton club open to children and adults and allows our students a further opportunity to play and train at a high standard alongside experienced and accomplished players. Helen Calverly also coaches and coordinates badminton resources at a number of other locally run clubs. Giving further access to coaching and playing opportunities.
Helen Calverley, ex-England international and ex-Rishworth student:
“Rishworth School played an unbelievable part in my development as a badminton player, and as a person. As a talented young athlete at the school I always felt supported. This was from the support given to me to carry out my England training programmes, to extra on court practice, to the understanding and help given when I needed to take time off school to travel for international tournaments. I felt supported by both the sports staff and the academic staff in a very demanding time when as a teenager I had to balance the demands of training, travel and education. I felt very lucky to have benefitted so much from the wealth of experience of the sports staff at Rishworth”.
“When I was asked to come back to the school to begin building this exciting badminton Academy I needed no time to agree. To be able to pass on my experience and develop a focused badminton programme at Rishworth is an unbelievable opportunity. I believe that children and young people should be given every opportunity to discover what they enjoy doing. Even when they begin to succeed in a sport they should still be training and playing with a smile on their face. I believe that by working together with the staff in the department and by using the experience I had as a student athlete whilst at Rishworth we have created an environment which supports and grows our student athletes, not just as badminton players and athletes but also as young people”.
Skill Development Programme
Through team training sessions and small group sessions, players are given the opportunity to develop their level of technical competence in all badminton skills. Gym sessions are on a daily basis including before and after school sessions and at lunchtimes for students to work on their programmes from school or Badminton England. These sessions are supervised by experienced qualified staff who have played and competed at the highest levels of performance in their respective sports.
Athletic Development Programme
The Athletic Development Programme (ADP) has been running in the school for over 4 years for the school’s most talented athletes in a range of sports, including badminton. The programme seeks to maximise the athletic potential of the school’s most talented athletes by teaching them a variety of compound exercises that look to build strength and develop flexibility whilst also working on activities that enhance agility, speed and reaction time.
On court speed, endurance and agility tests, and flexibility scores allow for fitness analysis and allow us to track players’ progression and improvement. Through the data we can also highlight areas that students need to work on to make them better athletes and to help them avoid overuse injuries.
Helen Calverley is an ex-Rishworth student athlete and Level 3 Badminton Coach. Whilst at Rishworth she played continuously for Yorkshire and England, and won an array of domestic and international titles and honours, growing up with and playing in the same team as 2016 Men’s Doubles Olympic Medal Winner Marcus Ellis and world top 5 mixed player Gabby Adcock. When injury cut her playing career short at 17 Helen began her path to coaching, taking her Level 2 coaching award. Whilst studying Sport and Exercise Science at Leeds Metropolitan (now Beckett) University she began coaching at David Lloyd in Leeds, and continued to develop her coaching knowledge from there. Helen currently runs her own coaching business (ViveSport) and works very closely with Badminton England to develop badminton in Yorkshire. Through her business she has set up and runs, together with her coaches, a huge amount of badminton across Kirklees and Calderdale. Helen has learnt from the likes of Harry Jarvis and Barbara Jones as well as Masters 45 World Champion, Mark Golds, among others.