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No voice, no choice!

It is with regret that at the age of 26 and entering the prime of my career I feel the necessity to submit my resignation from the GB Badminton Programme.

As the most successful female player with 42 Caps and the highest World Ranked player over the last 4 years I feel I have no voice or direction in the way my career is going and find myself in an impossible situation other than to remove myself from the World Class Performance Programme.

It is an athletes’ career and not the Performance Directors and an athlete should have a say in its direction. Having spoken to a number of our most successful players over recent years it is clear that they have been strong minded, highly motivated and independent individuals prepared to take ownership of their own development.
It will certainly not be a tick box exercise and an on going chase to secure funding that will determine success.

I know my dreams and aspirations were achievable as my results and achievements so far will testify but in my attempt to move forward in my development my views have been discounted. "Continue with the programme given to you or submit your resignation" was an ultimatum recently given to me.
I feel this indicates insecure, untrusting and incapable leadership and I am not prepared to be dictated to and therefore feel I am unable to continue with a programme in which I have no confidence. An unhappy player in the training environment has little or no chance of success. This sounds somewhat similar to Imogen's situation several months ago.

I am clearly not the first to resign and under the current regime I suspect will not be the last.
I am also aware that when the system is challenged there can only be one outcome, nevertheless feel it important to make a stance for what I believe in and to express my views and concerns for the future of the game in this country.

I should mention that I will always be most grateful to my personal Coaches Julian Robertson and Andy Wood and the excellent EIS support staff in whom I have benefitted greatly over my eight years at the National Badminton Centre. Thank you to the physiotherapists who got me back to full fitness following my first serious injury so I was able to compete at last weeks European Team Championships.

I wish all my fellow players, friends and colleagues every success for the future but it is now time for me to look back with pride at my accomplishments and to move on.


Jennifer Wallwork
25th February, 2013.

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