Tokyo Diary: Jack Shephard | Badminton England

Badminton will make its Paralympic debut in the coming days and there are four British hopefuls going for gold in Tokyo.

In the build-up to the Games, we have heard from physio Sinead Chambers and team leader Mark Beecher, and this weekend we will hear from two of the squad members who will make history when they step out on court.

Yesterday, Martin Rooke talked us through his Paralympic preparations and today we hear from Jack Shephard, who will be competing in the SS6 category.

It was a pretty long journey but the staff at London Heathrow were so helpful in making sure we had the smoothest and safest route through the airport. It was exactly the same when we got to Japan. The people couldn’t have been any more helpful.

When we landed we went through all the covid protocols, and then when we got through to the baggage area there were volunteers. They’d already put our bags on the trollies, and lined them up in alphabetical order so we were ready to go straight out the door, which made for a smooth trip.

The ParalympicsGB hosts have been amazing here, as have the Japanese helpers that are supporting GB at the training venue. The complex is amazing. We couldn’t ask for a better place to train.

We can’t wait to go into the village but it’s also been amazing to get to know people from other sports – we have had judo and taekwondo with us in the prep camp. To watch them from a distance training and see what they do in their prep has been great.

We’re following the rules like we’re set. We are with each other all day, every day  just like when we’re at home – and this is pretty much a home away from home at the moment.

We all keep each other ticking along and there’s lots of things going on off court. A few of us have brought our Xbox so we can ensure our time is filled and we’ve been playing cards just to keep everyone happy. I can’t wait to get into the village and experience that.

The facilities are second to none. Where we’re training is kept so clean and kept so nice. The courts are brilliant, the gym, the physio facilities, everything you ask for couldn’t be better. For prep going into the Games, I don’t think we could have got a better venue. It’s fantastic.

I’ve never been in a good of a position as this leading into a competition. Everything’s just ticking all the boxes and I can’t wait to get in the village, get to our official training venue and do more training to get ready to go and smash it out on court.

I’m excited and now I just can’t wait to get out there and do it. There’s one goal. Let’s go and do it!

For information on the Paralympic draw, click here.

Watch live para badminton action on Channel 4

View the latest results and schedule here

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