Innovator Ethan Rose has been in barnstorming badminton form through lockdown – literally.
The Oakley ace is the current world No.4 at Under-19 level and was forced to think firmly outside the box when the pandemic first struck.
Rose, a nine-time junior national champion, had his training schedule scuppered but his dad Neil – who owns his own construction company in Oxfordshire – had other ideas.
After building a garden practice facility, Neil converted a nearby barn into a badminton court for his son’s birthday and Rose reckons his ‘invaluable’ circumstances have kept him fit and firing.
Rose, who recently turned 18 and is coached by mum Sue, said: “When we first went into lockdown I was incredibly fortunate.
“My dad works in construction and he built me a half-court outside in our back garden. I was still able to train and physically keep my training up.
“We were then also very lucky that a local farm had a barn that wasn’t in use – and my dad converted the barn into a full-size badminton court for my 18th birthday.
“Since January 1, I’ve been training on my own personal court, which has been pretty amazing.
“I think the first court outside was so invaluable – I was able to maintain that physical level and not feel like I’m falling behind.
“From December, going back into another lockdown and having that full-size court has also been invaluable.
“I’ve almost been training normally since December, even though we’ve been through lockdown.
“I’ve not just been able to maintain where I’m at – I’m still able to push on and progress and a lot of athletes aren’t able to do that at the moment in this position.”
Rose’s career on the court is fuelled by an innovative partnership between Entain – owner of Ladbrokes and Coral – and leading sports charity SportsAid.
The funding enables him access to training, travel and equipment and Rose has taken full advantage as he shot to the English Under-19 summit.
The Oxford ace has already claimed a bronze medal at the Under-17 European Championships and is currently ramping up preparations for an Under-19 competition in Spain.
He’s relishing the prospect of benefiting from Entain and SportsAid funding and hopes the much-needed cash injection can propel him to the next level.
“Entain and SportsAid’s support makes a massive difference,” he added.
“It helps both on the financial side with training, and in terms of being able to get to tournaments that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.
“I’m taking it one tournament at a time and not looking too far ahead into the future. It’s about looking at the next few months and seeing where I might be able to go from there.”