About the Academy

The Cambs Badminton Academy was borne of a long held ambition of Neil and Helen Critchell to create a wider and more comprehensive badminton progression route for juniors in Cambridgeshire and beyond. They have always known that more coaching, training and competition is necessary to allow any committed junior player to reach their full potential. The Academy will provide all the resources to allow any junior - or any adult, for that matter - to take their sport to whatever level they wish. Helen and Neil started the Academy in February 2010 and it has since grown from strength to strength.


The last ten years has been spent gaining valuable experience, knowledge, qualifications and a reputation for efficiency and dedication to giving time, passion and commitment to junior badminton development in Cambridgeshire and that will continue to be the motivation of the entire team at the Cambs Badminton Academy. Our coaches are committed to continued professional development and will keep abreast of all developments in coaching from both Badminton England and other sources. The Academy is also committed to training and developing new coaches and encourages Badminton Young Helpers and young potential coaches to work with the qualified coaches whenever possible. We are more than happy to mentor and support any coach!


The realisation that player excellence and progression cannot be gained simply by club coaching for an hour or an hour and a half a week has brought about the creation of the Academy. As well as various different coaching sessions offered by the Academy, the Academy offers intensive competition and performance training to both experienced players and emerging talent. To bring about the improvement necessary to allow a young player to progress a minimum of three and a half hours to four hours coaching and training is required per week, all year round. Any playing time would come over and above that training time. The Academy aims to provide as much or as little coaching that our members require and will always find more time to coach should it be needed. Please see our Performance Pathway page on this site for more information.


Our coaches will help develop personal player profiles of all youngsters wishing to compete seriously in their sport and will be committed to helping them achieve all their short, medium and long term goals. Our coaches are also committed to accompanying our players to competitions and tournaments, wherever possible, to provide the necessary coaching and moral support to both players and parents. This is, we believe, an essential part of a coach/player relationship and is necessary for all round success.


We also run Badminton Boot Camps in school holidays and Matchplay Days for proficient players who are on the Performance Pathway, where players from across the Academy are invited to play for up to 6 hours during a Saturday. Proficient parents who wish to play competitively are also invited to these sessions. We also like to take our players overseas to Europe once or twice a year to international adult tournaments as, on the continent, juniors are welcome to play in senior tournaments if they are of an appropriate standard.

We would welcome anyone to come and join us, either as a player or a volunteer, and look forward to sharing our Academy with everyone!

Interested in our Academy?

Cambs Badminton Academy(CBA) is run by committee members.  We welcome any experienced players to join our active club.  All prospective members are asked to come along to clubnight as a visitor (typically for 3 week trial). During this time, the committee (assisted by other club members) will assess your playing standards and determine whether its at a sufficient level for the club. This isn’t determined merely by whether you are able to win matches and we do take into account factors such as being rusty after a break away from playing badminton. Other factors that are taken into account is prioritization of visitors who are in principle prepared to play for the club in the local leagues. This process also applies to past members who are returning to club after a break. If you are not at the correct standard at present, please consider other venues that you can take part and please do come back once you have gained more experience to align with the clubs standards (e.g. Cambourne Fitness and Sports Centre - Everyone Active).

Get in touch

The Academy Committee

Tim Cliff


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