Edmond has been playing badminton for over 30 years, won a number of titles, represented Malta a number of times on an international level and obtained his first coaching qualification in 1993 from CONI. Edmond put in more focus to coaching in 2009. A right attitude is the key characteristic he looks for in his athletes. Edmond has passed on his love of the sport to his two sons Matthew and Mark who also form part of the ISF Teams.
Name: Edmond Abela
Tell us a little about your background either as a participant or a coach?
As a player: –
Started playing at 16 years of age at the Higher Secondary Msida, one year later joined Shuttles Badminton Club and after some years I moved with Paola Badminton Club, the club I am currently registered with. Over the years, representing both Clubs, I won several Individual, League and Knock-Out trophies.
On a national level I formed part of the National Team for nearly 10 years, representing Malta in 2 Malta International Opens, both singles and doubles (1990 & 1992) events, in two Thomas Cup editions in Holland (1992) and in Czech Republic (1996) and also took part with Malta team in the Alpen-Adria Cup in Austria where we took fifth place in 1994 and fourth place in 1996.
In 2002 I won the Men’s Doubles’ National and was finalist in 2006, and 2015. I was also a finalized in the Mixed Doubles category in 2014.
Placed 3rd place (Bronze medal) from 50 teams with Team Malta in the ECSG (European Company Sport Games) held in Riccione, Italy in 2015.
As a Coach:-
Started coaching with SkolaSports from 1992-96. I attended for my first coaching course in Italy at the CONI Sporting School in 1993.
However, I only took coaching seriously from 2009 when together with Kenneth Vella and Norman Spiteri, I went to Sweden for a Badminton Europe coaching course and which is where we obtained our Coach Education Diploma (Level 1) and together we helped to form the current Junior Academy.
From then on I was hooked. I attended all the university courses regarding sports available, be it a 6-month foundation course in coaching, an exercise and fitness course, workshops, seminars, I even took a Basic Water Rescue course which nearly killed me as it was so intense…. I cannot imagine what the Advanced would be like.
My AIM is to put Badminton as a top sport in Malta, to get the respect this sport deserves.
How long have you been involved in badminton?
30 years and still loving it
Apart from their athletic capability, what do you consider when recruiting members for your team?
Although athletic capability is obviously the key factor, they are to have the right approach towards the sport.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a coach?
Time & Time management (24 hours a day is not enough in my schedule)
What are your expectations for the team for the upcoming Championship?
Since this the first time we are taking part in such games, we have little knowledge of the teams we will be facing, so their strengths and weaknesses are a bit of a grey area. My expectations from our athletes is that they each play to the best of their ability and gain the maximum experience from the tournament. The players have been training for nearly one and a half year for this tournament so I know they will not take it lightly and they will put in their all to get the best possible result for Malta.
If you get the chance to coach a world class badminton player, who would your choice be?
I prefer a home-grown player, whom I have started coaching from the beginning and know his/her character as without a player/coach bonding none can give his/her full potential.
Coaching the Francica twins to winning the National Ladies doubles in less than 3 years is a feat I will never forget. The current coaching of the Men’s ISF squad which has a lot of potential is also very satisfying as is also coaching Sarah Fava at the School of Sport.
However, two world class badminton individuals I admire are Jan Jorgensen and ex-player Peter Gade.
Do you like to play any other sport other than Badminton?
Things that you like to do while you are not playing Badminton?
Snorkelling and Philately
Your status? If studying/working what/where?
Married…. so far to Caroline Abela Cole