(Photo: BEC)
Meet our new Development Officer
Date: 1/4/2022 11:24 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
As we welcome 2022, Badminton Europe also welcomes a new member of staff. Tommi Saksa from Finland, formerly of Badminton Finland, has now embarked on a new journey in Denmark. 

Hailing from Kuopio, Tommi grew up in Hämeenlinna before living in the capital Helsinki for nine years prior to moving across the Baltic Sea to Copenhagen. Playing badminton from the age of six, Tommi fell in love with the sport. 

-I just found that it's a really cool game. I started to enjoy it and aimed to reach a high level. I dream now to achieve something big at the European and World Senior level. 

Tommi achieved being ranked in the top 10 across three categories in Finland and last autumn reached the semifinals of the nationals in mixed doubles. He then found a role within Badminton Finland through a national Coach Education course. 

-I was studying Sports Management and while attending a Coach Education course I was recommended a role which I took up in 2012, while still studying. I then became Youth and Education Manager and did a lot of different things with clubs, culture, education, and children and youth actions. We were a small organisation, so it was really multifunctional, interesting with a wide scope. 

Finland has stepped up in recent years as a keen host of major badminton events during the pandemic. In 2020, the European Junior Championships took place in Lahti, in 2021 the European Mixed Team Championships were in Vantaa, which ultimately led to Finland becoming host of the Sudirman Cup later in the year. 

In 2022, Finland is due to host the European Men’s and Women’s Team Championships in February and the European Championships in April. 

Tommi was the Operations Manager for both BEC Major Events in Finland, primarily being in charge of the venue, gaining the nickname of ‘Mr Venue’. 

-It was a really hectic time, but it felt really good. I remember when I had my longest working day of 17 hours, but I was still happy when I saw what we have done and everything went really smoothly, even with the challenge of the pandemic. I was feeling that now I'm doing something which really matters and I'm getting credit for it. 

New role
At BEC Tommi will be a part of the development team, contributing to the growth and expansion of badminton throughout Europe. 

-I have enjoyed the experience of engaging more people with badminton through projects in Finland and a big attraction at Badminton Europe is that I can be involved in work across the continent. It’s little bit similar, but now it's more complex and multifunctional as every country has different challenges and needs. It will be very interesting. 

Tommi looks forward to the opportunity to make a far-reaching impact and hopes to travel with work on various projects, as well as continuing his hobbies of skiing, racket sports and enjoying good food and drink, but admits that skiing may be tricky in Denmark. 

Welcome to the team.

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