Luton Badminton star Nadeem Dalvi inspires others to go for Gold thanks to the Luton Sports Network.

Photo credit © Tu + Tu Photography

Budding young badminton players had the opportunity to train with Nadeem Dalvi, currently ranked number 2 in his age group (U16) in England.

Nadeem- who has previously won Luton Sports Network's Young Sportsman of the Year and Luton Sports Personality of the Year - came back to his old Badminton club at the Luton Performance Centre to attend a training session, and each of the players were able to have a rally with the Junior England Squad player.

Funded by the Luton Sports Network and organised by team BEDS&LUTON, the session was designed to inspire the next generation of badminton players in Luton and to have a Q&A session with the rising star, his coach and family to discuss the implications of becoming a national champion.

Photo credit © Tu + Tu Photography

Head coach Suzanne Rayappan - an ex England International badminton player herself- played a major part in the development of Nadeem's game before he moved to Webber School of Badminton where he trains to date. She said: "Seeing how Nadeem has progressed through the England and international ranks really will show our players that anything is possible if they have the determination to succeed."

Local player Akaash Jain said "It's been inspirational to play against Nadeem. It was a tough rally of course but it shows that with hard work and lots of training, I could get there too."

Photo credit © Tu + Tu Photography

Nadeem joined the Luton Performance Centre in Luton when he was just 6 years old to develop his skills and played his first competitive match aged just 8. He was talent spotted and selected to train with his county squad (Bedfordshire) in the same year. By September 2016 aged just 12 years old Nadeem became English National champion in (under 13 boys singles and mixed doubles).

"With success comes a financial strain", says head coach Suzanne, "A lot of the time people don't know that the funding opportunities do exist for players and their clubs, and that's where the Luton Sports Network can help.

"The work they do is amazing and really helps players take that next step forward in their sporting career."

Funding for the Luton Sports Network is provided through Luton Borough Council and administered by team BEDS&LUTON, individuals and clubs across Luton have the opportunity to apply for grant funding four times a year. The fund can support an individual athlete's pathway to success like Nadeem's, or qualifications and for coaches and club officers.

Lloyd Conaway Director of team BEDS&LUTON explained "We work with, and support, a number of local organisations to make sure that the community gets the provisions it needs to get active. In this case the Luton Sports Network was the perfect choice to help Nadeem and his family with some funding for gifted and talented individuals from Luton and we are proud of the amazing sporting journey he has had to far."

Arshad Dalvi, Nadeem's Father, explains, "The funding that we have received from the Luton Sports Network has helped tremendously, there are a lot of events, for example the international events, which would have been very difficult for us to take Nadeem to. We are really grateful for all the support that has been provided to us over the years. "

Nadeem's dream is to represent England senior team in the commonwealth and for GB in the Olympics. He said "It was lovely to come back and see my old club and coach, I hope that my training tips will come in handy for the players."

For more information on funding opportunities with the Luton Sports Network please click here