Bartlomiej Mroz (POL), better known as ´Bart´ is the BEC Para-Badminton Player Award Winner (2015). The SU5 singles player received his award from João Matos, BEC Vice President in Podcertetk, Slovenia at the 4th BEC Awards Gala in April (main pic)
This award recognizes the best players playing for a nation within the territory of a BEC Member Association during the previous year. For the inaugural award, players were judged by their performances during the previous year.
Bart was nominated together with three other para-badminton players namely Rachel Choong (ENG), Helle Sofie Sagøy (NOR) and Julie Thrane (DEN). All four players went through a voting process and the BEC voting panel determines the winner from the two shortlisted candidates who had the highest votes.
Badminton Europe had a chat with Bart recently and got to know more about this young and motivated Polish para-badminton player.
: Tell us more about yourself and how did you get involved with para-badminton?
I started playing badminton since I was 11. When I started, I didn’t know that there is something like para-badminton and I played with regular players. About para- badminton I got to know when along with my coach, we were on tournament in Germany. German team coach told us that there are para-badminton players and I can compete with them in one of the categories. My first para-badminton tournament was European Championships in 2013 where I managed to win 2nd place. Since then my career speeded up and thanks to my first won para-badminton tournament, I got myself to Polish National Team and since September 2013, I started training with them.
Bartlomiej Mroz during the 4th BEC Awards Gala in Podcetrtek, Slovenia
: Congratulations on winning the BEC Para-Badminton Player Award 2015 last month during our 4th BEC Awards Gala. What does winning this award mean to you?
I would like to thank everyone for this award. This award is very important for me as it gives me the motivation to work harder during my practices and life.
: Apart from being an elite para-badminton athlete, you also do some coaching. Who do you coach and how often?
Since 2013, I am a badminton instructor and since 2014, I am a Shuttle Time tutor. Besides that I am precursor of para-badminton movement in Poland. Shuttle Time courses I carry out on weekends and because of that it didn’t interfere in my training schedule. I also have 2 hours weekly trainings with amateurs. For me it is an opportunity to promote badminton and earn some money. Sometimes I visit schools or different events and there I make presentation about para-badminton, my life and my career.
: You conducted a BWF Shuttle Time Course in Byslaw, Poland last year. Can you tell us your experience in this course?
The participants in this course were teachers and some amateur badminton players. They didn’t have big experience with badminton. They were very active, creative and showed big involvement during the whole course. It was clear that they like and learnt a lot during the course. All the participants acquired techniques and basics of badminton.
Bartlomiej Mroz delivered the BWF Shuttle Time course in Poland
Badminton Europe: As of the latest BWF World Ranking (May 2016), you are ranked second in Singles (SU5). How many tournaments do you take part in a year and how is your training schedule like?
The amount of tournaments depends on the BWF calendar. I take part in as many tournaments as possible. It depends on what resources I have from my sponsors. Now I have 2 big sponsors: Grupa Azoty and Atlas Polska and they support me mainly. In 2015, I took part in 6 tournaments and I was the only player in the world who played in all events from the BWF calendar. I have 5-6 badminton trainings a week and 3 gym trainings. The Polish National Team train more often but because of asymmetry of my body, I have to reduce the amount of sessions from 2 to 1 daily to avoid contusions and overload.
Badminton Europe: You have been competing both in Asia and Europe. How different is it competing in Asia as compared to in Europe?
Same as in badminton, Asian para-badminton players present higher level and are ranked on top positions in the BWF rankings. Level of organization in Asia is higher and it shows that badminton is much more popular there then in other continents. Not many players from other continents are able to compete and beat the Asian para-badminton players.
Badminton Europe: What about your life away from para-badminton? How is your daily routine like?
Every week day looks very alike. I wake up at 7, eat breakfast, dress up and pack my bag. About 8.30 I head for my training. After 12, I will have my lunch and go back home. Usually after lunch, I take a nap. Normally around 18.00, I will go to the gym. After that, I usually spend some time revising or just chill with my girlfriend and roommates.
Badminton Europe: What are your free time activities or hobbies?
I train every day. Badminton is my occupation and my hobby. Even when I have free time I spend it actively. Beside that I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend and my friends. If only I have free day or 2 I go back to my home town to visit my parents and my sister.
Badminton Europe: If you can choose to meet any badminton player in person, who will he/she be and why?
I have never thought about it. I watch badminton matches on internet quite often and I like the style of play of many players. But if I were to choose I would like to meet Lin Dan who is a very titled player, Olympic Champion amongst other and on top of that, he is a badminton star.
Badminton Europe: Which para-athlete inspires you the most and why?
My idol was and still is Natalia Partyka, Polish table tennis player. I admire her attitude to life, her strength of character and perseverance.
Badminton Europe: What will be your message to future para-badminton players wanna-be?
Always believe in yourselves! Do not give up when it gets difficult! Never lose hope on achieving your goals!
Bartlomiej Mroz (First from left) at the 2015 BWF World Championships in Stoke Mandeville, England
Bartlomiej will be taking part in the upcoming BWF Irish Para-Badminton International from 23-26 June 2016 in Belfast, Ireland. Stay tuned for more para-badminton news and information on our BEC Para-Badminton page.
For other enquiries about para-badminton, contact Tania Teoh at firstname.lastname@example.org