General

The Faroe Islands Para-Badminton Team
Historical milestone on the Faroe Islands
Date: 6/26/2018 11:17 AM
Published by : Maria Bubucea
Leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, more and more new para-badminton players are now joining the international circuit. In March 2018, two out of the five athletes from the Faroe Islands participated at the VII Spanish Para-Badminton International 2018. One of them being Eydna Mouritsen, aged 13, who was classified in WH2. Unfortunately, the other selected player, Vilhelm Clementsen, aged 18, wasn’t considered eligible to classify at that point.

“This opportunity served as a learning experience for both the players and myself. This was a great chance for them to see what we are lacking at this stage, what we should be aiming at for the next tournaments and learn how to improve and work on their games,” explained Paulo Pinheiro, national para-badminton coach of the Faroe Islands.

Mouritsen´s success in classification, followed by competing in Mallorca at the BWF Spanish Para-badminton International made her the first ever international para-badminton player from the Faroe Islands. This milestone also enabled her to receive the BEC Women in Badminton Scholarship which promotes the female participation in badminton from different areas.

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How it all started

In January 2017, the Faroese Badminton Federation welcomed a new head coach from Portugal, Paulo Pinheiro. Right from the beginning, Pinheiro suggested that his club together with him should do something for people with different abilities and thus the federation contacted the Parasport Foroyar that offered their full support and collaboration.

Three months later, they hosted the first ever para-badminton event on the Faroe Islands. The event was held in Tórshavn, with a two hour duration and only possible with the support from Badmintonsamband Felag (BSF), Havnar Badminton Felag (HBF) and Parasport Foroyar. Six athletes participated at the event, supported by their friends and family members.

The main purpose of the whole event was to get the athletes acquainted to badminton as some of them have never played badminton before. The event was a success, the participants were enthusiastic and curious about the sport. The newly appointed head coach was responsible for the training event, with the help of the BSF and HBF staff, as well as the National Team athlete Magnus Dal-Christiansen.

The first step towards progress

The results of the event were highly appreciated by the participants, organizers and partners. Therefore, this was the first step towards the para-badminton development on the Faroe Islands. In May 2017, HBF started to have one training a month for para-athletes and currently five athletes are regularly attending the trainings, joining other athletes who are trying out the sport. In January 2018, they started to train two times a month.

Realistic expectations

“Our ambition and expectation were really realistic, to give our best, enjoy the moments on court and give our best effort. And both athletes delivered that. I saw them grow from game to game, getting more confidence and motivation to train more and better,” added Pinheiro when asked about their participation at the competition.

At the moment, Pinheiro’s expectations as a para-badminton coach are centered around getting more people involved in badminton and raising awareness about it amongst athletes, their families and friends, coaches, as well as the media and sponsors.

Want to know which other countries tasted success like the Faroe Islands? Stay tuned for more these upcoming months.

Find more information about para-badminton on the BEC website by clicking here.

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