Photo by Mark Phelan for Badminton Europe: Mariana Pinto Leite at European Junior Championships in Mulhouse, April 2017.
Mariana Pinto Leite joins the Centre of Excellence
Date: 8/18/2017 3:15 PM
Published by : Emma Lollike
Two weeks from today, Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence (COE) is starting up in Holbaek. Today, we are happy to announce that Portugal’s Mariana Verdasca Pinto Leite will be the 14th player to join the COE squad.

A badminton racquet was one of the first things she held when she was a kid, “My grandmother and my father used to play, so I think that I always wanted to play and become a good badminton player.”, Leite explains.

She trains twice a day and most of the time it is individual sessions. To improve her game even further, a change of scenery is necessary.

“Here in Portugal, there are fewer people playing every year that goes by, so every tournament has the same people and the same type of playing. Where I practice, almost everyone is younger than me and there are almost no female players; so going to Denmark I’ll be able to practice with people of my own age.”

From 1 September 2017, Leite will start training at the COE with players from European countries like Finland, Czech Republic, Armenia, Lithuania, Belgium, Malta, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Croatia, Latvia and Scotland. Her reasons for making that move is to reach the goals she has set for herself:

“First of all, I want to improve my game. I'm not used to playing in international tournaments so one of my goals is to start to play them and obviously, winning. For the future, as all the badminton players, I want to become even better and try to change people’s mind about Portuguese players - for the better, of course.”

But it is not without a hint of nervousness that Leite,18, is leaving her home country.

“I'm super excited and a bit nervous as well! I believe it will be a great experience and it will definitely help me achieve my goals.”

“I hope the BEC can help me by having good quality training, and helping me focus on my goals so that I can achieve them. Training with people of my own age and with different game styles will be great for my evolution!” 

If you wish to learn more about Badminton Europe’s Centre of Excellence project, please visit our page by clicking here.

We have already announced the head coach, assistant coaches and thirteen other players for the COE. Read all the previous announcements here.

E. Lollike, Badminton Europe
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