Australia’s top youth and senior badminton players have come together to share in a week’s worth of on-court sessions, team bonding experiences and recovery sessions, as part of the Green2Gold2Great program.
With limited opportunity for the Senior Falcons squad to train and work together due to a hybrid model that sees athletes spread across the world, athletes descended upon MSAC to mark the start of the 2024 season, with the Oceania Championships to be held in Geelong next week.
Falcons head coach Leanne Choo was excited to see the team together again, and focus on developing a stronger Australian cohort, in terms of ability and connection.
“Every year, we try and get the Falcons to come together, two or three times a year… and this is the first time we’ve got them together this year, and it’s with the support of Commonwealth Games Australia that this has been possible,” Choo said.
“We just want to bring everyone together, create a sense of team feeling, team culture, and that togetherness, which you don’t always get in an individual sport.”
“The energy and the atmosphere has just been electric this week, even for us coaches, and it’s been so nice to have people come together.”
Featuring the likes of experienced team members Gronya Somerville and Nathan Tang, the camp was a valuable opportunity for the two to refine their skills leading into competition, with a busy 2024 calendar.
“I think the key takeaways are learning from the players who we’re aspiring against, the different strengths that they have, trying to integrate them into our game, and just working more on how to play against those top pairs and get that exposure to the way international players play,” Somerville said.
Charged with driving Australia’s success in the lead up to the 2026 Commonwealth Games, the Green2Gold2Great program is helping to propel Australia’s success on the world stage by facilitating innovative sporting projects.
Recent initiatives have included Gymnastics Australia’s ‘Movement Starts with the Gymnast’ Athlete Leadership Program, AusTriathlon’s first-of-its-kind able-body and para Team Australia 2024 Camp, and Rugby Australia’s participation in the World Series Event, seeing the Australia A Team travel alongside the Aussie 7’s to compete on the international stage.
Green2Gold2Great is made possible by the investments, sponsorship revenues and fundraising activities of CGA, including the marketing rights fee paid for the now cancelled Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games.
This initial contribution of $4.8 million announced last October brings together Foundation and Performance allocations for each sport on what was the Victoria 2026 sport programme.