Inspirational work has been awarded
Date: 6/4/2013 9:48 AM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

At Badminton Europe’s first Awards Gala held in Bratislava at the end of April, there were two awards included as a result of BEC’s working group “Women in Badminton“ (WIB) nominations. These were the second set of WIB awards with Member Associations requested to nominate outstanding projects and personalities whose work has been instrumental in supporting the development of women in Badminton.

This is an important area of development for badminton. The IOC has issued strong recommendations to encourage gender equality in all Olympic sports. Moreover as badminton is one of the few sports in the world where men and women, boys and girls compete together in competition it is crucial that we see this diversity on court translate into the coaching, technical official and management areas.

Badminton Europe is keen to encourage the development of female representation in all Member Associations. An analysis of female representation (not only on court, but also coaches, technical officials, executive levels) in member associations shows that we still have some way to go in this area. However, the Women in Badminton working group is aware that there are many people who are working hard to tackle this issue. Through the awards system the working group seeks to raise the profile of these projects and recognise their achievements. We hope that hearing about the inspirational work will encourage other individuals in member associations to improve female representation within their own nations.

The number of applications in 2012 was up slightly from 2011 and the overall quality of projects was very high. This made it even more difficult for the working group members to vote for one winner. However, on consideration of the applications and the Women in Badminton working group’s recommendations the following awards were given.

Person of the year – Kirsten Larsen, Denmark

The Danish Badminton Association (Badminton Denmark) proposed their former world-class player Kirsten Larsen. Since retiring Kirsten has been contributing to the development of female players in high performance badminton. She has encouraged young talented players from an early age to engage in competitive sport and assisted them by working on the issues girls face in that challenging environment. The combination of her successful mentoring and training of these girls both in physical demanding activities as well in psychological challenges made her work stand out. Kirsten Larsen has shared her ideas with other clubs and Badminton Denmark and several follow on initiatives have been successfully implemented under her supervision.

Project of the year – “Girls Camp Serbia“

The Project of the Year this year went to the third annual Girls Camp Serbia. The project has seen a year on year increase in the numbers of participants and is run with tremendous enthusiasm in the city of Kragujevac, in the middle of Serbia in cooperation with Badminton Belgrad. The project organisers Marija Bulatovic and Andrea Todorovic have created a new way of motivating young female players and female coaches. The camp is not only a great opportunity to encourage girls to train at a competitive level but with more than five different nationalities from Balkan Region and from further afield the camp is also an important social and intercultural gathering.  The Camp is also executed to a high professional standard utilising branding, communication tools and media work to highlight the important issue of Women in Badminton. 

The Women in Badminton working group would like to offer our congratulations once again to this year’s winners!

The Women in Badminton working group is looking forward to numerous applications for 2013 and hope to see a further increase in the numbers of outstanding projects for girls and women in Europe.

Article by Christine Skropke, Member of BEC Woman in Badminton working group.

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