Jack Shephard embracing home advantage at 4 Nations

21 July 2023

The 4 Nations Para Badminton in Sheffield is well and truly a home tournament for Jack Shephard.

One of England’s leading para badminton stars, Shephard is gearing up for the inaugural edition of 4 Nations, which starts at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on August 2nd.

For all of the home based players in action it offers a chance to compete and go for gold medals in a venue on home soil, where they train on a daily basis.

But for the 25-year-old there is an extra special connection to the tournament, which is adding further motivation.

“I’ve grown up in Sheffield, not too far from the venue, so I’ve got lots of friends and family who I want to come and watch,” he said.

“A lot of our competitions are overseas, so it’s hard for them to come and watch me play live. I’m excited for that part.

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“My expectations are as always, I’m going into the tournament looking to win and get some great ranking points towards the qualification for Paris 2024. I’m so excited to have a tournament at home – I’m looking forward to it.”

Set to compete in SH6 singles action and in the mixed doubles competition alongside Rachel Choong, there will certainly be pressure on Shephard and the rest of the GB para badminton squad when action gets underway.

A Level One event, 4 Nations will be one of the biggest para badminton events to ever take place in Britain, with special thanks to Yonex – the Official Equipment Partner of the 4 Nations Para Badminton International.

But, despite the combination of home expectations and the volume of points available amid the Paralympic Games qualification period, this is being treated just like any other competition.

Shephard added: “We prepare for tournaments all the time so the preparation stage is just as important as any other tournament.

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“We’ve been to a number of tournaments in Spain of different levels, which went well. We’ve been to Thailand and Bahrain, also great tournaments. Canada was a great tournament for me, the last one just gone.

“Now for preparations in Sheffield and the European Championships just after, it’s going well, but we’ve still got part of qualifying to go, we’ve just got our heads down, trying to gather as many points as we can, to make sure they all add up and get us on that plane to Paris.

“We do a lot of analysis and training exercises to make sure we’re in the best position we can be ready for tournaments.

“It’s the same process for Sheffield, even though it’s a home tournament, we still treat it like any other tournament. We’re preparing the best we can now so that we’re ready to perform.”