- POSTED: 08 Jan 2014 22:04
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The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) has announced a raft of changes aimed at improving the country's fortunes in international competitions.
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) has announced a raft of changes aimed at improving the country's fortunes in international competitions.
The move follows a six-month review of the association's processes.
The revamp includes a new coaching set-up, led by Liu Qingdong, former chief coach of the National Intermediate Squad.
SBA hopes the new set-up will streamline training methods across all age groups.
The changes came in the wake of Singapore's poorest showing at the SEA Games since the turn of the century.
Singapore picked up just one medal -- a bronze -- at the Games last year.
Contrast that to 2007, when the country's shuttlers bagged six medals -- four silver and two bronze -- or even in 2003, when the women's team won gold.
Singapore Badminton Association president Lee Yi Shyan said: "We need to challenge the players to come back with medals. I think the mental state with which they go with, to the tournament, is very important."
But Mr Lee, who is also the Senior Minister of State for National Development as well as Trade and Industry, realises that results do not happen overnight.
He said: "Each time you have a new coaching staff or technical director and players, you have to give them time to gel together.
"Singapore Open is just two months away, I think it's a bit too soon. Nevertheless, it's a good start for us to marshal our troops together, and to have a good start."
Under the changes, more tailored training will also be rolled out.
The Player's Individual Training Plan (PITP) will replace previous broad-based programmes.
SBA will invite coaches of world-class players, at its own expense, under its Distinguished Guests Programme. These renowned coaches will offer technical expertise, as well as critique current training methods, to improve the national team.
Mr Lee added: "We will typically bring them in for a week, and we will pay for their accommodation and their airfares. And their job is to help us critique our system and make improvements, make suggestions."
For greater exposure, the shuttlers can also look forward to more overseas centralised training sessions, starting next month.