Team USA Para Badminton was excited to welcome 2 new players

By USAB Staff | Jan. 03, 2019, 6:09 p.m. (ET)

Team USA is on the move! Team USA Para Badminton was excited to welcome 2 new players - SU5 player, Isabella Adams and SS6 player, Megan Gioffreda - to their Holiday Training Camp this past week, Dec 27-30th, at the Shannon Pohl Badminton Academy in Chicago, IL.   Coach Pallav Deka from Michigan State University and Coach Dean Schoppe from Manhattan Beach Badminton Club had their hands full with Team USA’s largest camp yet (10 players including Justin Kendrick visiting from Team Canada).   The coaches and players worked hard, played hard, and as always, had fun on and off the court!  A special thank you to Coach Deka and Coach Schoppe for juggling the needs of so many players, to Shannon Pohl for working with the team on court space, and also to Adam’s family for hosting the entire crew at their home on Saturday evening.  

The 4 day camp included 7 of Team USA’s athletes and medal winners from the recent Pan Am Championships in Lima, Peru in November:  Colleen Gioffreda, Ryan Gioffreda, Miles Krajewski, Dawson McClure, Jake Petruzzelli, Jayci Simon, and Katherine Valli.  (Team USA’s Richard Alcaraz, Amy Burnett, and Eric Johnson, while not able to attend this camp, also travel extensively to train).  Team USA is focused on training for the Canadian International in May, as this is the last qualifying event for the World Championships in August in Basel, Switzerland.  At least 2-3 additional training camps, including one at Michigan State University in February and also one at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in April will provide additional training opportunities leading up to the Canadian tournament.  

Team USA is also proud that one of their own, Miles Krajewski, is working towards qualification for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, where only the top 6 men in the world will compete in men’s SS6 singles.  At just 13 years of age, Miles is currently ranked #8 in the world and has an extremely intense travel schedule for the next 15 months in order to qualify.  Team USA coach, Pallav Deka, who has been instrumental in building the program and also has coached Miles for the last 2 years is encouraged, “Itis very heartening to see Miles, Katherine and the other players improving and doing well in the international circuit. Their progress and achievements in a short span of time provides great inspiration and the much-needed impetus to develop and grow the program.”  Go, Miles, and go, Team USA!