High Performance Players
In recent years, Badminton Ireland has established a High Performance system with a focus on sustainability. The key to this is ensuring that talented players are identified and developed at all levels from the junior ranks to our Olympic hopefuls.
All players can be categorised in the following squads:
The High Performance Talent Squad
Chloe Magee (23) is one of Ireland’s Double Olympians, having represented Ireland in Both the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and London Olympic Games in 2012. Chloe grew up in Raphoe, Co. Donegal and trained in Raphoe Badminton Club. Chloe is now part of the Irish Elite training group and trains in the National Training Centre in the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin.
Chloe had an excellent season in 2011/2012, which included winning the Lithuanian International Ladies Singles Title and qualifying for the London games. Since then, Chloe's good form has continued. She made final of the lady singles at the 2012 Carlton Irish Open and followed it up one week later taking both the Single's and Mixed Double's titles at the 2012 Turkish International Event. Chloe is the first Irish Athlete to win matches at two Olympic Games and hopes to further this statistic as she targets the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
Chloe is currently funded by the Irish Sports Council and works closely with the Irish Institute of Sport.
Scott Evans (24) is also a Double Olympian, with appearances at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012 under his belt. Scott grew up in Dundrum, Dublin and played out of Terenure Badminton Centre on Whitehall Road.
Scott has had some remarkable results in the recent past, making the quarter final of the European Championships in 2008 and 2010 only narrowly missing out on a bronze medal. In the 2012/2012 season Scott made the final of the Lithuanian International in the Men’s singles and finished 8th on the European Circuit rankings. Scott has competed in seven International Men Single's Finals and at the 2012 Carlton Irish Open, Scott took his first European Circuit Gold. The victory on home soil marked the achievement of a long-held personal goal for Ireland's top shuttler. Scott followed this up with another title at the 2013 Cyprus Open where he took his second International Single's title.
Scott is currently funded by the Irish Sports Council and works with the Irish Institute of Sport Team
Sam Magee (22) is a member of the Badminton Ireland Elite system. Sam grew up in Raphoe Co. Donegal and was a member of Raphoe Badminton Club. Sam was one of Ireland’s most successful Junior Badminton players and cemented his name in history when he claimed gold in the European Junior Championships Men’s Doubles in 2009.
Sam currently plays Mixed Doubles with his partner Chloe Magee and they have had an extremely successful 2011/2012 season. The duo claimed both the Lithuanian and Norwegian International titles on the way to finishing top of the European Circuit rankings. Sam has continued his good form in the later part of the season as he lifted the 2012 Turkish International Mixed Double's title. This year has seen him continue his run of form, as he narrowly missed out on gold at the 2013 Dutch Open, where he finished runners up in the mixed doubles event.
Sam currently receives funding from the Irish Sports Council and works closely with the Irish Institute of Sport.
Jonny Dolan (17) is from County Sligo and is a member of Sligo Lawn Tennis Club. He has been a dominant figure in underage badminton throughout his age groups. In the 2011/2012 season, Jonathan had some excellent results in both domestic and international tournaments. Jonathan won the Badminton Europe U19 Bulgarian and Irish International Circuit events. Dolan continued his good run of form into the World Junior Championships where he finished 9/16. These results have moved Jonathan into the Top 10 in the World Junior rankings. Jonny claimed his first International Senior cap this year when he was selected to play in the European Mixed Team Championships in Russia.
Alannah Stephenson lives in Lisburn and trains at the Ulster High Performance Centre.
Alannah received her first Senior Irish cap in the 2011/2012 season at the age of 15 while playing at the European Women’s Team Championships held in Holland.
Alannah is part of Badminton Ireland's High Performance Talent Squad and works closely with the Sports Institute of Northern Ireland.
Alannah receives direct athlete funding from Sport Northern Ireland and the Irish Sport's Council. Alannah has had some great success including a medal at 2011's U15 Quadrangular Event in Mixed Double's, and claiming the Ulster Senior and Irish Junior Women’s Singles titles. She also claimed the Loughborough English Gold U17 Ladie's Single's title.
Rachael Darragh (15) is from Raphoe in Co. Donegal and trains in Raphoe Badminton Club. Rachael is part of the Badminton Ireland talent group and is currently the youngest player on the panel.
Rachael has had a number of very good performances recently, including winning the U15 Single's, Double's and Mixed Double's National titles in 2012. She also brought home the silver medal from the U15 Quadrangular Single's in 2011, and made the semi-final in the 2012 UK School Games. At the Badminton Europe Junior Circuit Event in Dublin, Rachael took the Ladies Single's title, which is a remarkable result as the event is an U19 event.