(Photo: Badminton Europe)
President Koukal: It is a good thing!
Date: 12/18/2020 1:37 PM
Published by : Alan Raftery
Over the past months, Badminton Europe has worked on creating a new and fresh Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with each Member Association with the collective aim of strengthening and growing the sport in Europe, from grassroots to elite level. 

At the time of writing, 20 Member Associations have already signed their MoU with Badminton Europe, with healthy ongoing discussions continuing with many more. 

An MoU is a legally non-binding agreement that outlines details of a mutual understanding which highlights each side’s requirements and responsibilities. An individual who is able to view the sport from many perspectives is a former player and now President of the Czech Badminton Federation, Petr Koukal. After signing the MoU, he stated. 

-It is a good thing! It is good for the Czech Badminton Federation as it is something that we need. We will definitely use it in the best way we can. We will be improving a lot of things within our federation like our training facilities and talking with our members. 

Petr Koukal, 34, is a president with great aspirations for badminton in his country. He explains how the MoU is a key component in his future plans. 

-Most of the things we are trying to do are quite new for us, so we are always looking for other Member Associations who have already done it to share their experience, and now through Badminton Europe, we can do it officially, which is a great thing. 

Growing the badminton family 
The Olympian from London 2012 appreciates that signing the MoU with Badminton Europe is something that has far-reaching benefits. It is a document that can encourage collaboration with various stakeholders such as sponsors, clubs, media and partners. In particular, media and communication is a key focus area for the Czech Republic. 

-On the media side we can share content like photos from Badminton Europe tournaments, which are difficult things for us to get on our own. So, the more we can share from Badminton Europe and other countries, the better. We can also use facilities, training centres, education of trainers and coaches, which will really benefit us. And of course, we hope that we can help other countries by sharing some of our experience too. 

A huge amount of people playing
Each Member Association has its unique challenges in the growth of the sport. This is why the customisation available within the MoU is attractive. In the Czech Republic, Petr Koukal sees substantial potential. 

-I believe there will be better players than in my era because we did not have the same possibilities that the youth have today. Generally, badminton in Europe is growing and we can benefit from working with each other. 

-I do believe there will be more people playing badminton in the Czech Republic. There is actually a huge amount of people playing, but we as a federation do not reach them in a way that I feel we should, and I hope the MoU will help us do better in this area. Once the badminton family, which is tens of thousands of players, starts coming together, soon we will be able to share this success with others. 

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