Derbyshire Institute of Sport (DIS)’s Andy Wood is out at the Rio Olympics, passing on the expertise that has seen him coach two sets of past Olympic medal winners.
He helped Simon Archer and Joanne Goode win Britain’s first Olympic badminton medal, a bronze in Sydney 2000, and Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms to their silver medal in Athens four years later.
This time, the DIS performance advisor is working with Linda Zetchiri and Team Bulgaria, who also have a women’s doubles combination – the Stoeva sisters.
Andy has also worked in the past with Badminton Australia and has taken time to support them, as well as Britain, out in Brazil.
“Some of the stands haven’t always been full, but there has been a good atmosphere in the badminton,” he said.
“I am staying in an apartment in the Botanical Gardens and have access to the Olympic village, the training halls and the arena.”
Andy has assisted Zetchiri very successfully so far, with the Bulgarian beating Britain’s Kirsty Gilmour en route to the last 16.
Outside the badminton, he’s had little spare time on his hands but is keen to catch up with DIS athletes Liam Pitchford (table tennis) and Molly Renshaw (swimming), who are out in Rio.
“The village is so huge with 15,000 athletes and staff that it is very rare to bump into our other DIS guys, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to meet up with them if possible.”
The DIS offers talented athletes in the county extensive support through a variety of means, including financial support, expert coaching, bespoke strength and conditioning programmes, physiotherapy and nutritional and lifestyle advice.
It also works hard to develop the very best performance coaches for the county, with the programme’s staff regularly attended coaching forums and taking part in courses to continue their personal development.
Find out more about the DIS programme and the coaching staff.