From the courts to the office
Date: 9/12/2013 10:37 PM
Published by : Manuel Røsler

In our "Woman in the Spotlight" interview we spoke to Hana Prochazkova, who is a former top player of her country and now both President and CEO of the Czech Badminton Federation, about the difficulties to enter the sports management, her recent achievements and future plans.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What was your inspiration behind entering sports management?

Hana Prochazkova: I don’t know if you can call it an inspiration. I was approached to my own surprise by a relatively large part of our badminton community to ran for the position of chairman of the Czech Badminton Federation. My decision was therefore based on the support of the members, players, friends, officials. My personal goal has never been to lead Czech badminton.

BADMINTON EUROPE: How difficult was it to switch from a players perspective into an official function in a Federation?

Prochazkova: It's not easy. Most certainly my previous experience in working as General Secretary has helped a lot because I know in general how the business works. On the other hand, I never had to make a decision. It is not always easy to enforce certain decisions for the players - especially the ones I played with. Therefore the experience and advices from my colleagues who have been working for badminton for many years are very important and essential to me.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement in the role?

Prochazkova: When something works well it is always a success of the whole team not just mine. A year is a very short time for some great reviews. But positive for me is that our team took part in all major badminton events like Olympic Games, World Championships, European Championships and World Junior Championships. And we were able to get badminton regularly on the Czech TV with a monthly magazine.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What changes would you still like to see implemented?

Prochazkova: Certainly we would need more media coverage. But for our top players I would also like to be able to create such good conditions that they can train together in the Czech Republic and do not have to go abroad for training.
BADMINTON EUROPE: How big is badminton in your country?

Prochazkova: Badminton in the Czech Republic is still one of the small sports although in recent years there has been a big boom especially for amateur badminton. The most popular sports in the Czech Republic are still hockey, football, floorball and athletics.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Do you have special projects to raise the level of female badminton?

Prochazkova: No we don’t.

BADMINTON EUROPE: Why do you think there are still so few females in high level management positions in sport?

Prochazkova: In my opinion it is mainly because of family reasons. For most women it is certainly still important to educate and care for their children and a very few women are willing to sacrifice the time you can spend with your family to work responsibilities. There is much support from the partner needed.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What do you think those seeking to facilitate gender equality could do to change this disparity?

Prochazkova: I believe that women with "big" ambitions who have a family support can succeed. I do believe in the "great power of persuasion" of women.

BADMINTON EUROPE: What are your ambitions for the future of your career?

Prochazkova: At the moment I'm trying my best to manage my work and family responsibilities. In February my second boy was born and therefore I don’t think so much about my future career these days.

Thanks for the interview!

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