Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Misbun and Chong Wei missing the Bath

Don't know the really story behind national badminton singles coach Datuk Misbun Sidek and his prodigy and world No 1 Lee Chong Wei are skipping the 10-day training stint at the University of Bath in England.
But I know for a fact that they are going to miss a golden opportunity to train and experience at the University which is known for it facilities.
I had the rare opportunity to be at the University and given a full tour of the facilities there in 2007 when the former Sports Minister visited Bath to finalise plans to sign a MoU signed between the University and the Government of Malaysia, through the National Sports Institute.
Not only is Bath breathtaking place to be, it is an ideal place to train without any distractions. To top it all the Univeristy's, success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.
It is indeed a crying shame for Chong Wei to have missed this opportunity no matter whatever his reasons were to give it a miss.
This is the sporting history of the University:

  • Since 1976, when we became the first university in the country to offer sports scholarships, we have been a pioneering force in university sport
  • Our sporting success is based on the expertise and dedication of our staff, and our world class £35 million Sports Training Village (STV) facilities
  • A number of sports have their national or other high performance bases here including modern pentathlon, bob skeleton, badminton, beach volleyball and netball. We are also one of British Swimming’s five Intensive Training Centres
  • In the run up to London 2012, we have been chosen as the venue to host the Paralympics GB team’s preparation camps
  • For the last nine years, The Guardian has rated us in the top two UK universities for sports science
Team Bath, based at the University of Bath’s main campus at Claverton Down, Bath, enjoys some of the very best sports, recreation, fitness and ancillary facilities in Britain if not the world.
Elite athletes and the public of all abilities and ages can enjoy the £30 million complex which is split over three sites: the Sports Training Village (STV); the Founders Complex and the Sulis Club. The Sulis Club is based just a mile from the campus.
The University of Bath has continually invested in its sports facilities with a major drive from early 2000 onwards bringing about the current world-class STV with funding from the national lottery, the Lawn Tennis Association and the University itself.
The STV houses multiple sports spaces of cutting-edge standard.  It has four multi-purpose halls, a 50m pool, indoor and outdoor athletics tracks, astroturf pitches, and a martial arts dojo.  The Sulis Club is a community-led sports facility near the main complex whilst the Founders Complex contains the original multi-purpose sports hall, squash courts and 25m pool.

  • State of the art 114-station fitness suite and stretch area
  • Over 60 pieces of Life Fitness cardio equipment
  • Indoor heated 50m competition pool for lane swimming and hire
  • Sauna, hydrotherapy pool and ice bath
  • 16 badminton courts
  • 3 indoor netball courts
  • 3 basketball courts
  • 8 cushioned acrylic indoor tennis courts
  • 8 outdoor courts and 2 clay courts (tennis)
  • 2 astro pitches for hockey and football
  • 8 grass pitches for football, rugby and lacrosse
  • 8-lane synthetic athletics track
  • Indoor athletics straight and throws/jumps area
  • Fencing sale and pistol range – modern pentathlon
  • Judo Dojo
  • Fast tan solarium
  • Licensed bar, cafĂ©, relaxation area and outside terrace

This was a report on their website on the visit of the Malaysian badminton team:

Scientist and badminton players kick-off Malaysian presence in Bath in lead up to 2012 and 2014
Malaysian exercise physiologist Albert Tan Yi Wey is spending some time
working with TeamBath’s sports science and medicine team as part of the
University of Bath’s growing links with Malaysia.
Albert works at the Institut Sukan Negara, the National Sports Institute of
Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, which is the national centre of excellence for
sport in Malaysia.
He has worked at the National Sports Institute for five years and is team
leader of the sports scientists that support Malaysia’s aquatics team.
Albertis working alongside the TeamBath sports science team, which delivers
a wide range of services both to elite athletes and to members of the
He will also be working closely with members of the Malaysian badminton
team, who arrive at the Sports Training Village next week for their
pre-World Championships training camp.
Malaysia’s badminton team is among the strongest in the world, with Dato’
Lee Chong Wei, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games silver medallist ranked as
men’s singles world number one, and Koon Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong
topping the men’s doubles rankings.
The eight-strong group of players will be joined by five coaches, six
sparring partner and five support staff from the National Sports Institute.
The training camp will also see one of those coaches, Misbun Sidek teaming
up with one of his old adversaries, Stephen Baddeley. The pair were rivals
on the badminton court in the 1980s. Stephen , a double gold medallist for
England at the 1986 Commonwealth Games ¬ is now Director of Sport at the
University of Bath and will be working closely with the Malaysian team to
ensure they have a successful training camp in Bath.
It will be the first group of national athletes from Malaysia to train at
the University of Bath since the MoU signed between the University and the
Government of Malaysia, through the National Sports Institute, in March.
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments
in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise
and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community
and Olympic medal winners alike.

The city of Bath

Bath is a spectacularly beautiful city which stands on the River Avon among the hills of England’s West Country. The city’s compactness and striking architecture - Roman baths and sweeping Georgian terraces - combine to produce one of the most elegant sights in Europe. The ancient Celts, who first inhabited this area, believed that Bath’s hot springs were sacred, but it was the Romans who built the temple and the famous baths - now restored to their original grandeur.
In the early eighteenth century, under the direction of the socialite, Beau Nash, Bath became England’s premier spa town, where the rich and celebrated members of fashionable society gathered to ‘take the waters’ and enjoy its theaters and concert rooms. During this period the renowned architect, John Wood, laid the foundations for a new Georgian city to be built using the honey-coloured stone that gives Bath its mellow and indefinable quality.
However, Bath is far from a fossilised museum piece. Besides the annual Bath Festival - now recognised as one of the most prestigious festivals in Europe - there are countless other arts activities spread over the year. Art is permanently on show at the Victoria Art Gallery, at the University-run Holburne Museum and at many other, more intimate galleries and shops. Bath is also home to the Museums of East Asian Art and Costume.
London is approximately one hour and a quarter from Bath by intercity train, and Bristol is about fifteen minutes away. For those seeking quieter retreats, Bath is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with the Cotswolds to the north, the Mendips to the south-west and, just across the Severn Bridge, the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean. The coast at Weston-super-Mare or South Wales is also within easy reach.

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