Elliott Beals Olivia Meyer
Elliott Beals is the Head Coach at the Winnipeg Winter Club and coaches Olivia Meyer who is one of Canada's top Para Badminton players. Olivia has a chance at making the Canadian team at the 2020 Paralympics. This is his experience with travel overseas and at a Para Badminton event:
"My experience in Tokyo is something that I will never forget for a long time. For the first time being outside of North America. I was unsure how a 13 hour plane ride would be and the effects of jet lag.
I managed to get some sleep on the plane, but leaving on the afternoon of one day and arriving in the evening of the next day, was hard to get use knowing that I missed a day.
The Japan Badminton organizing committee was fantastic hosting the Paralympic badminton test event, as they made us feel welcome from the time that we arrived. Everything laid for us, including transportation, meals, accommodation, and practice times. The venue setup was amazing with 10 courts which included 2 practice courts. All seating was above the courts which can hold up to 13,000 people.
This was truly an eye opener for me, as it was my first para competition to be involved in. Seeing the best para athletes in the world and the level that they compete at is definitely worth seeing. Most of these countries have been involved with para for a long time. Which makes it obvious as how well they do on the world stage. Since Canada is new to the Para Badminton with in the last couple of years. We are doing well but, we still have a lot of work ahead of us developing athletes. Since 2020 will be the first year for Badminton in the Paralympics. Now is a good time to start para badminton programs in our provincial sport organisations.
This all started with Olivia being chosen for the Petro Canada FACE program. Which is for non carded athletes that are Olympic hopefuls. This grant allows Olivia to use the money for training, and travel. To help her increase her chances of making the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
I have had the privileged of working with Olivia for over a year now. She a dedicated athlete while attending to her studies at the University of Manitoba. She spends 4- 6 days a week at the Winnipeg Winter Club with Myself and athletic trainer Jeff Mitchell.
She will travel to several countries throughout the year competing in Para competitions. Even as a Para athlete, back home she competes and trains with all able body athletes
Olivia is excellent to work with. She has a great work ethic, and I'm excited to have a front row seat in her Badminton career."
Olivia will be competing at the 2020 Yonex Nationals and Paranationals in January here in Winnipeg. You can keep up with Olivia's journey at the Paranationals HERE. Or you can come out and see her in action along with her coach Elliott Beals January 28 - February 1st at Prairie Badminton (Unit 2, 275 De Baets St.).