USA BADMINTON COLLABORATES WITH U.S. AIR FORCE WORLD CLASS ATHLETE PROGRAM
USA Badminton is pleased to announce a new collaboration and effort to examine opportunities with the United States Air Force World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).
This collaboration highlights an opportunity for elite U.S. badminton athletes to train and compete full-time, our goal is to recognize our top athletes and deepen our long term high-performance athlete pipeline towards both the Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
The Air Force WCAP, which began in 1995, was established to allow Airmen to train full-time as their primary duty in the program and compete in U.S. Armed Forces events, the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (Military World Games), Olympic Games and qualifying events for those games.
The program provides support for top-ranked Airman-athletes to perform at the international level while also serving their nation in the Air Force. Members participate in essential outreach activities, hold clinics, and perform recruiting functions at high schools and colleges while maintaining unit readiness and career field compliance. WCAP is another opportunity to provide the Air Force and its athletes the national visibility that reinforces pride in our Armed Forces, especially during international competition.
Lt. Col Austin Pruneda, Air Force representative to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, said,
“The Air Force WCAP provides a fantastic structure for many sports that do not have top tier support due to financial limitations or the competitive infrastructure in the United States. The Air Force looks for many of the same qualities in recruiting Airmen as Olympic hopefuls demonstrate on a regular basis: integrity, teamwork, leadership, determination, and a strong work ethic. Our partnership with the USOPC can provide great opportunities for junior athletes looking for a way to continue sport and start a career, Olympians wanting to compete at another games, or retiring Olympians looking for a place that values the qualities they have developed and provides a platform to continue serving and representing the USA.”
Linda French, USA Badminton Interim CEO, said,
“USA Badminton is proud to bring this program to our elite athletes. The Air Force WCAP program will provide incredible training and competition opportunities as well as an education pathway and unparalleled career development. We are excited to be working closely with WCAP on this initiative.”
Athletes in the WCAP are assigned to Air Force Services HQ-San Antonio. Alternatively, they may train in-place, at the National Governing Body training site, or request another training location. The program typically lasts 24-36 months and historically supports 20-30 summer athletes and 2-4 winter athletes.