Photo: Badmintonphoto
A legend turns 80
Date: 1/12/2021 1:38 PM
Published by : Rasmus Bech(BEC)
Few people in Europe have had more influence on badminton in their home country than Professor Doctor Puzant Kassabian. For more than 50 years, the father for Bulgarian badminton has pulled the strings.

There he stands. In the middle of everything. In the middle of a party, which probably would not have been there if it is was not for him. The setting is Sofia in 2017 - the 50th anniversary party for the Bulgarian badminton federation - A federation which he founded, lead and watched grow. growing.

Today, 12 January 2021 Puzant Kassabian turns 80, but let us turn the clock a bit back, back to where it all began – back to December 1967. On December 23rd-24th, the first badminton tournaments were played in Bulgaria and, of course, Kassabian was a big part of it.

Nobody knew badminton
In 1967, Puzant Kassabian was not just studying to become a doctor, he was also the organiser of the first four official badminton tournaments in Bulgaria.

- I was a player and I was also the coach. Nobody knew badminton. It was the first official tournament in Bulgaria, Kassabian stated.
- I never left the sport. This is my sport. I love badminton, and that’s why I never left. I want to show people the best of badminton. I want to show people how great our sport is.

As a player, Kassabian helped the promotion of badminton in Bulgaria. And many Bulgarians will for sure also remember him for being a coach and a badminton politician who helped the sport grow not only in Bulgaria but in all of the eastern part of Europe.

General Secretary and President
In 1989, Puzant Kassabian became General Secretary of the Bulgarian federation, and since 1992 he has been President of the same federation. He is for sure part of the Bulgarian badminton history, but he is also a part of the history of international badminton. On the bookshelf at in his home, he has a certificate which is almost impossible to get.

- It is for the most participations at the World Championships. My first was in 1977, and the last was in 2001, Kassabian tells adding that he has been to every single World Championships since 2001 – latest in Glasgow in August 2017 – as a doctor and an official.

The humble Professor Doctor
Bulgarian badminton and the Bulgarian Badminton Federation never hesitate to honour and appreciate the big effort Kassabian has put into the sport in their country. The humble Professor Doctor will not say that he is one of the biggest things that has ever happened to badminton in Europe, although many people in his home country thinks so.

He is pointing in another direction, when asked about the biggest thing that has happened to Bulgarian badminton since he organised the first tournament in 1967.

- The biggest success is our women’s team, who won silver medals at the European Championships in Kazan, 2016. It was a great result, especially, because they also won the bronze medals two years prior. This means that we have a good team and good players, which we have helped to become some of the best in Europe. I am very proud of that, Kassabian says.

“The Father of Bulgarian Badminton”
The stars in Bulgarian badminton are rising. After years of hard work, they are now part of the European top. But it is not only the top players who have the attention of the living Bulgarian legend.

- Many years ago, we started a school project that is fighting drugs in Bulgaria. It was a big success. We got many schools to attend that project and I am happy to see that children, young and old people wants to play badminton. That makes me happy and I hope it will continue.

Badminton Europe wants to congratulate Puzant Kassabian on this big day. Happy Birthday, Puzant - “The Father of Bulgarian Badminton”.

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