Credit: Instagram @samcassar10
Sam Cassar: Change my training environment
Date: 11/26/2020 1:53 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery

Maltese player Sam Cassar shares why he moved from his home to train in Denmark in order to pursue his badminton goals at the Centre of Excellence.

Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) has the vision to provide a high quality and aspirational training base for talented and deserving players from all over Europe. This is exactly what attracts many players from countries far and wide, including Sam Cassar from Malta. 

- I decided to come live and train here because there was not enough training and sparring back home and decided to change my training environment. 

The big move was made a little easier as his good friend from Malta, Matthew Abela, had been living in Holbaek, Denmark, for the past three years. This allowed Cassar to ask Abela what it is like and whether it was good for him to move there. He decided to take his advice and hasn’t looked back.

- I think it was a good decision because I can focus more on badminton and learn much more than back home. I can learn so many new things and I have made new friends and contacts.

When asked what in particular sets the CoE apart from the training he is used to, Cassar explains.

- I realised that the intensity of my training and gameplay had to change. I was not used to training and playing with this intensity back home so I’m still getting used to the pace here.

It is a big move for any young athlete to take and Cassar is very well aware of the challenges he needs to overcome.

- The only con I can think about is not seeing my family and friends whenever I want but on the positive side, I get to learn and improve many things about my game, make new friends, and also give myself the experience of living as a full-time athlete.

Read: Get to know Jenny Moore

Have fun and relax

Cassar thinks back to the first few weeks as a new player at the centre and speaks about how welcoming everyone was. 

- Everyone here is very friendly and helps as much as possible for you to learn and push yourself. It is also good because we manage to find some time to have fun and relax at the weekend. 

Talking through a normal day, Cassar says.

- Normally I wake up, have breakfast then off to practice, eat lunch, then rest before the second practice. Then I like to contact family and friends in the evening before I sleep.

At Holbaek Sportsby, players have great facilities they can access, such as the physio, pool and sauna. As we approach the Christmas break, many players aim to use this time to see their families back home. 

- This year I have decided to go back a bit earlier than usual because Badminton Malta invited me to go to a national camp before Christmas. I am also planning to hopefully see my family and friends as much as possible, COVID-19 permitting, however still keeping a good rhythm of training as much as I can. 

After this, planning for 2021 is still a challenge. The national championships in Malta are due in February and Cassar hopes that some international tournaments will start up again in the near future but is very thankful that he can continue training and sparring with many top players at the CoE. 

To find out more about the CoE and register interest, click here

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