(06.03.08 12:44 Age: 12 days)

From Badminton Australia Website:

The Australian Sports Commissionís National Talent Identification and Development program started searching for the next generation of Aussie Badminton stars last year in Melbourne, with the main NTID program called "JUMP SMASH'.

The Ballarat based Jump Smash program will be part of this exciting new initiative. The progam started the search in the local schools for young females, aged between 10 and 15 years, who were sporty (a natural talent), powerful, strong, fast, fit, agile and mentally tough. The partners were looking for girls from various different sporting backgrounds Ė netball, volleyball, gymnastics or athletics.

24 girls were selected for the Jump Smash trial squad in Ballarat. They are training three times a week under Head Coach, Rhonda Cator and assisted by Victor Brooker and Joel Findlay.

This trial squad will eventually be re selected into a smaller squad over a period of months.

The lucky final squad will have the opportunity to:

* experience tremendous personal development opportunities
* be exposed to a world-class coaching and training environment
* travel the world to competitions
* be a top Aussie sports star
* strive for national representation at the Olympics and other world-class competitions.

It is an exciting time for Badminton as the sport looks to broaden the base and the Jump Smash initiative certainly has the right ingredients to be a huge success, including world-class coaching and support from the Australian Institute of Sport.