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(Photo: Badminton Photo)
Where are they now: Andy Ellis
Date: 8/4/2020 2:26 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
One of England’s key players and big personalities over the last decade was Andy Ellis. A double European Championship bronze medallist, Commonwealth Games silver medallist and secured multiple podiums with England at European team events- All this established the Leeds man into badminton history. 

In addition to the success on the badminton court, the once world number nine is also remembered for his positive off-court character. Many people who have been in and around the England camp during this time have commented on the energy and comedy that Ellis brought to the atmosphere of the team. An invaluable attribute that kept spirits high at the national training centre. 

Half a decade on from retirement, where is he now?

When announcing his retirement, Ellis commented that he did not want to stop, but wanted to be secure in his life. Very soon after he became a Performance Consultant at Strength and Conditioning Education. Thinking back to this moment of transition, Ellis regales.

-If I am honest, I already had the job lined up. I had grown tired of badminton and had been looking for people who would take a risk on me. For me, my time in Strength and Conditioning was a good grounding for a real job. I had not used a computer for around 15 years, so to learn excel databases was something I found quite challenging. I was working long hours trying to make the cut, so would often go from work to then additional work coaching badminton to try and give back to the coaches in Leeds who helped me so much growing up. 

Back at Milton Keynes
After such a major change in day to day life, Ellis then found himself back in Milton Keynes with his now wife Sarah in 2016. Not at the national training centre, but in his current company, Brands Ambassadors International. First walking in as an Account Manager and now, the Sales Director. Utilising his strengths in connecting with others, Ellis took on the new challenge.
 
-I always felt confident talking to people, but when it comes to commercial decisions, I was completely clueless. I am very fortunate to have found a company who trained me and trusted me to fulfil my job.

From gruelling gym sessions, tough on-court drills, and long-haul travel to and from tournaments, Ellis explains what his new working life entails. 

-Day to day I run a sales team where we manage residual stocks either export or sell into small shops in the UK. My role mainly consists of organising and setting my team their goals for the day, but I have taken an approach of training my team to be the best that they can be.

In his final quotes as an elite badminton player, Ellis was seeking security in life. Asking if he had found this now, he responds. 

-I have indeed found security in life now, but it is hard to be very good at something and then go and start at the bottom of the food chain.

A drive to succeed
It is clear the Ellis has used his traits of being very personable and open to great effect, but when discussing what aspects of professional badminton have helped him get to where he has, Ellis unpacks his experience.  

-For me, the biggest asset any of ex-player, myself included, is the fact we all have a drive to succeed. It is no different from turning up to practice early to stretch or hit a few extra shuttles. We are designed to work hard. I am about to open a shop with my wife Sarah in dog grooming and we go live in September, so we have many exciting things happening right now.

Andy Ellis takes on Chris Langridge
Living so near to his old stomping ground, the national training centre, we asked Ellis if he had popped in to say hello? Ellis jokingly responds. 

-I keep asking Chris Langridge to play me at half-court, but he keeps saying no. He has not got the minerals to step up against me. 

Ellis on the circuit became known for challenging players to fun singles games, whether it’s half-court or a quick three-point match, again breaking down social boundaries between players. But for the former English star, he would not be tempted to get back into the badminton world in the future.

-If I’m honest no I wouldn’t play again. The past is the past. I made my choice and now I prefer other things like football or going to the pub. And I kind of fell out of love for the sport, but I would always help anyone if I could in any way.

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