'It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.' Lucius Annaeus Seneca

When Badminton became an Olympic sport, the first GB Olympic Director, Lars Sologub, introduced the idea that if GB was to be competitive at World level, it quickly needed to embrace the concept of real "High Performance". This led to the setting up of High Performance Centres in all of the home countries where the best players could congregate and train together on a daily basis. In Wales the first centre was at the Welsh Institute of Sport (now the Sport Wales National Centre - SWNC), Cardiff, under the direction of the then National Coach, Chris Rees and after him, Zhou Junling. Rapid expansion took place and soon centres were established in West Wales at Llanelli and in North Wales at Deganwy.

In addition feeder development groups were also set up at SWNC and Wrexham. At this moment in time the National HPC remains at SWNC under the direction of Eddie O'Neill, where daily training is available to all HPC players. In addition, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings are organised.

In the North Andy Stewart runs a once weekly HPC session whilst in the South West, Joe Morgan, also once per week, offers HP training in Llanelli. Development groups are organised by Annette O Neill, Kerry Ann Sheppard and Shu Nin Mo in SWNC (Wednesday evening), by Huw John, Mark Cairns and Gary Clarke in Llanelli (Monday evening) and by Neil Cottrill, Ally Oates and Terry Jukes in Wrexham (Wednesday evening).

The HPC concept has undoubtedly increased the quality of training and the standard of play in GB and continues to provide both young and established players with opportunities to be competitive on the world stage.

Badminton Wales also provides a competitive structure from grass roots to elite level. Through the many local events staged by the county associations, the Junior Shuttle Circuit, Junior Opens, regional and nationals events, players have the opportunity to compete at the correct level. It is from these competitive events that players are selected for the many Centres of Development and Excellence run by the county associations and are then progressed through to the High Performance Development Groups and thereafter to the High Performance Centres and National High Performance Centre in Cardiff. These centres are run by the High Performance Coaching Team on a weekly basis.