Badminton Life

New Zealand Youngster Hits Malaysia

New Zealand may be one of the countries that has a team entered into both the Uber and Thomas Cups in Indonesia in May which would indicate that there is a good quality of badminton players in the country but its clear that they still view themselves as a nation that needs to develop its young players and learn from the more established badminton teams and countries.

To this extent, young New Zealand badminton player Anna Rankin is taking part in an eight week training program in Malaysia in an attempt to improve her skills and take advantage of the great training facilities and understanding of the game that many of Malaysia's top badminton players possess.

Six days a week Rankin is undergoing two intense training sessions which means that the trip is certainly no holiday for the 19 year old Southland badminton player and as well as honing her badminton skills she will be aiming to maintain and improve on her fitness levels.

The trip has came about due to the fact that Malaysian coach Jiva Manoharan worked in the Southland area in New Zealand last year and worked with Rankin at this time. When the opportunity for Rankin to spend time in Malaysia it was hard for the youngster to turn down and with Manoharan extending his coaching period in New Zealand into this year as well, there is every opportunity for more budding New Zealand stars to head to Malaysia to develop their game.

Ranking is currently one of the New Zealand elite talent players for this year, which is deemed a position away from the national team so she is clearly held in high regard in her own country and if she continues her development at the rate that is hoped for, it is likely she will soon be appearing for the Under 21 and full national team levels.

On a personal level, Rankin has been said to be keen to learn a lot about the local culture and heritage that is available in Malaysia, which can only be of benefit to the development of her as human being as opposed to her sporting activities but it is important that the youngster takes full advantages of the training facilities and with the humidity and expectations being higher than what the player would be accustomed to back home, there is every opportunity for the player to develop in every aspect of life.

This level of interaction and cross-training between nations can only be of great benefit to the sport of badminton as a whole and if it means that better crops of youngsters are developing into world class badminton players then it can only be hoped that this practice continues for many years to come.

Whether Rankin continues her development and eventually rises to the level that is hoped for will be an interesting aspect to look out for but at the moment, a lot of expectations are placed upon the youngsters shoulders and she looks more than capable of living up to this billing.

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