By Declan Magee
Three-time Olympian Chloe Magee went back to where it all started on Monday night when she took to the court at the Recreation Hall in Raphoe where she first held a badminton racket.
Monday night’s weekly training for children session at Raphoe Badminton Club was no normal night as the cream of Irish badminton came along to mark the local woman's homecoming from the Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Chloe spent several hours at her local club, first coaching the kids club, with players aged between five and 15 sharing the single court with her. She then took part in a badminton exhibition involving some of Ireland's best players.
It was a special evening as the dozens of children got a chance to be coached by their local hero and her talented siblings, Sam, Joshua and her niece Rachael Darragh.
They were joined by two of the upcoming stars of Irish badminton, 16-year-old Nhat Nyugen, European under 17 champion, and 17-year-old Paul Reynolds, a bronze medal winner at the European championships.
After the training, the hall was packed to capacity for the exhibition from the star players.
Chloe cherished the chance to get back to her home club and work with the local children.
She said she was delighted to get the rare opportunity to play at the club where her love of badminton started.
“This is where I started. I grew up here since when I was three or four, playing with my dad,” she said.
“I live just two minutes from here. And it all just started from this small hall in Raphoe. It’s great to be here and I just love seeing so many kids playing. It is so different from when I was young.”
See Thursday’s Donegal Democrat for more.