Phoenix Regional Project in Pecs, Hungary


Pecs, former European Capital of Culture, hosted the first training camp of the Phoenix regional project with Badminton Europe's financial support. It's a project that was born in 2007 and for four years Hungarian, Serbian and Romanian players have joined together to train at different age groups for being prepared to compete in U17 or U 19 European Championships. This year, Bulgarian players were invited to take part in this project for growing the player’s interest and for upgrading the games level.

It's been a very nice week and from the very beginning coaches sat together to talk about the programme and to change their impressions about what happened this last year in the world of badminton. Players haven't been so brave from the start, only some knew each other from the past, and there was an interest about the new Bulgarian entries. Unfortunately at the end when all of them felt comfortable with each other we had to split and to go home. But in between we spend nice moments together by having hard trainings, walking through the beautiful historical city, sightseeing and short trip to a lake in the surroundings.

Each training was getting more and more interesting by choosing different sparing partners and at the end of the training time having the possibility to play with those you wished to compare your strength with. There were technical and tactical advises from trainers, footwork has been done and some good matches could be seen.

All this also because of the huge beautiful training hall – Multialarm sports hall – with 9 courts where you can watch badminton whole day: beginners, advanced players or hobby players enjoying the matches or the training hours.

The last day of the camp there was a single tournament for boys and girls where everybody tried to master his racket and the shuttle the best way he/she could. Trainers had a feeling of satisfaction watching them. Supporting dances were performed by each country and the best one was rewarded at the end of the games. Boys and girls played in 4 groups each at first stage and the winners went into the semifinals.

The final was won by Vladimir Shishkov (Bulgaria) and Mila Ivanova (Bulgaria).

”Good bye and see you all in short time at the second camp in Kragujevac, Serbia!” - These were the words of everybody’s lips at the departure.

Interview with Laszlo Zsolt:

We spoke to Laszlo Zsolt, who built this modern hall, in a short interview:

Laszlo, have you been a player before?

No, not before, only for a few years. I played football for 30 years and after an accident I couldn't continue so I discovered this interesting sport that I fell in love with.

What determined you to help the Hungarian badminton by building this hall?

Since I was 11 years old I had to fight all by myself through this world and I know how hard it is – thinking about badminton, I remember I built my own aluminium racket long time ago. I saw the problems that the Hungarian Badminton Association has and by helping them I tried to bring new life into this lovely sport.

You applied to the Junior Circuit and many famous players have already played in this hall. What are your plans for the future?

My thoughts are to offer a chance to those players that got out of the junior age. They should have the possibility to train after they finish high school. And why not maybe one day to start with a Badminton Academy here in Pecs.

Article and photo by Corina Dan