Photo: Badmintonphoto
Chloe Birch: I do feel more fit
Date: 6/9/2020 2:04 PM
Published by : Emilie Sommer (BEC)

Chloe Birch had a good 2019 where she reached six finals in women’s doubles with Lauren Smith and claimed the gold in three of them. Going into 2020 hoping to continue the good path, was quickly turned into just hopes and dreams. 

When everything shot down back in march, it got more difficult to keep up the practice as the badminton halls and fitness of course also closed. But what has been the hardest part of practicing at home for the last couple of months?

- The hardest thing practising at home for me is having space and staying mentally motivated to do sessions when it is not known when we will be back playing and competing. Having enough space to do badminton movements has proved difficult especially for the majority of lockdown we have only been able to go out of our house to exercise once a day. 

Even though it has been hard to keep up the motivation when practicing at home, Birch actually feels more fit that before the lockdown. 

- In certain aspects I do feel more fit, I have had a few little injuries over the last year or so that has stopped me doing certain things outside of badminton such as running. So during lockdown, my injuries have had a bit more time to recover and I have been able to run outside most days without my injuries coming back which has been really nice. 

Read: Jessica Pugh: I have a lot of good talks with Gabby

Recovering or training?

The original Olympic qualification would have ended a little over a month ago, but due to Covid-19, everything has been postponed and cancelled. The last tournament played, before everything was shot down, was the All England Open, which was in the middle of march. Now with almost a three month break, does Birch feel more recovered?

- In some ways yes I do feel more recovered, the last 2 years of the calendar has been pretty hectic for me. Me and Lauren started a new partnership 2 years ago so we had to build our ranking up pre qualification and then obviously the Olympic qualification year is always very busy with lots of travelling. It has also been strange because we were scheduled to have a holiday to get away from badminton but obviously that can’t happen at the moment so training has carried on without much of a break. I am sure once we are back training and there is a bit more certainty around Covid-19 I will be able to take a bit of time away from badminton to fully recover my mind and go into tournaments fresh. 

Read: BWF announces updated qualifying regulations for Olympic and Paralympic Games

The driving force 

The current situation is definitely not easy for everyone, but trying to explain some of the positive things Birch can take with her from this situation, she says. 

- I think one of the positive things for me is being able to spend time with my boyfriend. We both travel so much with our jobs that we often aren’t seeing each other very often so it has been nice to be in one place with him to spend time together. We have also just bought our first house together so we have been staying busy doing painting and DIY in the house. 

- Another good thing to be taken from the corona situation is I have learn’t to not take things for granted. Especially being able to see family which I often take for granted when not away at tournaments. During Corona I have not been able to see any of my family which has been tough and I can’t wait to see them all again when its safe to do so especially my little nephew who is only 10 months. They are a big driving force and support network around me and my badminton so it will be great to spend some time with family when this is all over. 

- The third positive thing I am taking from the corona situation is having a bit of a slower pace of life. Usually I am so busy between training sessions, then away competing, then back and recovering from travelling that it is nice just to be able to sit and read a book for a few hours without having to rush around to go somewhere. 

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