England trial awaits Southwater badminton ace
A badminton player from Southwater is looking to break into the England set-up.
Sixteen-year-old Andrew Harrison, who attends Tanbridge House School, has been selected for an England trial this week.
The trial will consist of one-on-one matches that will test their skills and also see whether they have a future in badminton at a high level.
Dean George, who has been training with Andrew for seven years, said: “Everyone involved with Andrew’s badminton were hugely proud.
“His parents obviously sacrifice a lot for Andrew and it’s great to see him moving forwards in the sport.
“There will obviously be nerves as it means a lot to him, but we have a bit of time to talk about how to control them rather than trying to see them as a negative reaction.
“Andrew has the ultimate goal of playing full time professional badminton. Nothing would please us more than him representing England in the junior set up.”
Harrison was aided by George’s former student and badminton hotshot Zach Russ, before Russ moved to the National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes.
The 16-year-old, who trains at The Bridge Leisure Centre in Broadbridge Heath, has received coaching from ex-England junior David King and Andrew Miles from strength and conditioning company AIM SC.
He has also been an athlete on the Set For Success programme which has meant free access to courts and the gym.
George added: “Andrew has always had a strong group of coaches around him and it has been important for Andrew to be working with people who have achieved what he wants to achieve.
“Myself and Zach have been able to help him technically and tactically but also the mental strength needed to reach an international level.
“He hasn’t reached this yet but having an England trial on the horizon is a huge step in the right direction.”
Following Harrison’s England trial is the Under-17 National Championships in November.
George said: “The nationals is always a big test for every player.
“It’s the biggest tournament they have each year on the domestic calendar.
“This has been a two year build up for Andrew. Two years ago he reached the last 16 and we have been aiming for Andrew to reach the semi-finals on this occasion.
“It has obviously been tough with Covid restrictions but the best thing about Andrew is his passion for the sport.
“Whatever we set him we know it will be completely to the best of his ability every time. He is a joy to work with.”
George and Harrison would like to thank The Bridge Leisure Centre for all their support.