Europe's best-performing players, coaches and technical officials of the past year were honoured and the fourth member of the Badminton Europe Hall-Of-Fame was inducted at the 4th BEC Awards Gala, which took place in Podcetrtek, Slovenia on Saturday.
There was this special moment when one of the most iconic badminton figures of all time entered the stage to receive the - actually his - honour. It was no other than Denmark's Morten Frost (main picture)
who was inducted into Badminton Europe's Hall Of Fame as its fourth member. Frost joins a legends' list that include Erland Kops (Denmark), Gillan Gilks (England) and Lene Køppen (Denmark).
Morten Frost won four All England singles titles as well as two European Championships gold medals in the men's singles. He also became a two time runner-up in the world championships, 1985 and 1987.
"I had a big will and I hated to lose" the Danish legend, 58, said in his acceptance speech. Morten Frost received a long standing ovation as he walked his way back to the seat after he revealed his painting and received a certificate from BEC's president Gregory Verpoorten.
Carolina Marin: Female Player Of The Year
The BEC Best Female Player of the Year title was unsurprisingly awarded to Spanish world champion Carolina Marin, who not only won her second world championships gold medal in 2015 but also the Malaysia, French, All-England, Australian and Hong Kong Open Superseries titles. What an amazing year for young Spaniard. But also for her coach Fernando Rivas, who won the inaugural Best European Coach of the Year award.
„I would like to thank all the players I have coached throughout the years“, Rivas wrote on his facebook page.
„I am priviledged to be a badminton coach, this is what I have aways wanted to be, this is what I will be. Coaching is a difficult task, it is not only about the knowledge of the game, its special complexity is about the control of the inner game. Coaches, are more often than not working in the shadows. And although there is no discussion about players being essential, a coach will always be needed.“
The Best Young Player of the Year 2015 award went to Denmark's youngster Anders Antonsen, who showed his big potential last year by winning the European U19 Championships in the men’s singles. Antonsen also won the Belgium and Dutch International. Denmark’s men's doubles duo of Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen were crowned Best Male Players Of The Year 2015, for a second time. The current All-England Champions won the gold medal of the first European Games in the past year. “We are extremely proud to receive this award”, said Mathias Boe while Carsten Mogensen added. „It was not possible for us to make the travel to Slovenia. That is very sad for us. But I hope to be there another year.“ Carsten Mogensen continues his rehabilitation from his brain surgery during the European Team Championships in Kazan.
The “Women in Badminton” Person Of The Year award went to two time World Champion Carolina Marin. The Spanish shuttler and current European Champion inspires young female athletes in so many ways. Bartlomiej Mroz (pictured above with Badminton Europe Vice President Joao Matos)
was awarded with the Best Para-Badminton Player Of the Year Award of 2015. The Pole won the men's doubles silver medal at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships and took titles at the Irish and Peru International.
Ernest Robinson: Best Technical Official Of The Year 2015
Denmark's Gitte Sommer was award Best European Senior Player Of The Year. Sommer won three gold medals at the World Senior Championships in Sweden.
The Best Technical Offical of The Year award went to Ernest Robinson of France. He has recently retired as a BWF Certificated Referee. In the pictured below you can see Ernest Robinson together with Badminton Europe Director, Peter Tarcala.
Next year's Annual Delegates' Meeting and the 5th BEC Awards Gala will take place in April 2016 in Prague, Czech Republic. It will be the 50th anniversary of the confederation.
All winners of the 4th BEC Awards Gala:
BEC European Male Player of the Year 2015 – Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen
BEC European Female Player of the Year 2015 – Carolina Marin
BEC European Young Player of the Year 2015 – Anders Antonsen
BEC European Para-badminton Player of the Year 2015 – Bartlomiej Mroz
BEC Senior Player of the Year 2015 – Gitte Sommer
BEC Women in Badminton Award 2015 – Carolina Marin
BEC Coach of the Year 2015 – Fernando Rivas
BEC Technical Official of the Year 2015 – Ernest Robinson
BEC Hall Of Fame – Morten Frost
Article by Manuel Rösler. Photos by Tania Teoh.