Development

(Photo: Ukrainian Badminton Federation)
Para badminton in Ukraine
Date: 5/12/2021 9:45 AM
Published by : Alan Raftery
With the Spanish Para Badminton International taking place right now, we take a look at the inspiring story of how Para badminton started in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, there were several attempts to kick start Para badminton. One of them was in 1995, but it did not work out due to the limited work with people with disabilities. After a 20-year gap, the second attempt was made in 2015. 

The Head Coach of the Ukrainian National Team, Dmytro Zozulia, was offered to work as a badminton coach in the Paralympic Committee, since the committee was developing new sports that take part in the Paralympics for the first time. He goes on to explain how this was the spark for the successful second attempt.

-I went to the 2015 Para badminton World Championships in England in the city of Stoke Mandeville. For me, it was the first experience in Para badminton at a professional level. When I returned to Ukraine, I decided to seriously start working in this direction.

Zozulia began to assemble a team to play Para badminton and after three years in 2018, Ukraine was able to take part in their first tournament in Dubai. After that, they visited Dublin, and then to Odense in Denmark where he met with Tania Teoh, Development & High Performance Manager at Badminton Europe.

Ukraine then took part for the first time in the European Championships where they won a silver medal in class SL3 with Alexander Chirkov. Since the beginning of the development of Para badminton in Ukraine, only the Championships of Ukraine and the Ukraine Cup have been held. Through which the strongest athletes in Para badminton are established and subsequently were able to take part in the selection for the 2019 World Championships in Basel.

Ukraine recently was happily able to take part in the selection for the historic first Paralympic Games in Japan - Tokyo 2020. The Ukraine national team is (SU5 Ivana Redka , SL3 Alexander Chirkov, SL3 Oksana Kozyna, SH6 Nina Kozlova), with more still fighting for qualification.

The Ukrainian Badminton Federation has made huge strides in such a short space of time and even recently in October 2019, held the fifth edition of the BEC Para badminton Event. During the weekend, coaches and administrators from countries all over Europe participated in the event to learn more about Para badminton.

The coaches learned about how to coach and arrange practice for players with different disabilities in the best possible way. The administrators learned about Para badminton in general and how to integrate Para badminton in their own countries. Kaity Hall, BWF Course Tutor, was very happy about how everything fell into place.

-We had a really good bunch. I am happy with how the weekend went. There was an even split between male and female coaches. The coaches all did well in the assessment, they were all good badminton coaches initially and grasped the ideas of coaching people with disabilities quickly, the tutor said.

-The organisation was great, and this helped with the smooth running of the weekend. Thanks to Badminton Europe and Ukrainian Badminton Federation for organ- ising again, she added. 

Oleksii Dniprov, President of the Ukrainian Badminton Federation, had this to say about the Para badminton Event:

-Hosting the Para badminton Event was a pleasure and a great honour for Ukraine. I’m sure that this event will help with the development and popularisation of Para badminton in Ukraine. We would definitely be happy to host this event one more time.

-For the countries that have not started Para badminton, my advice for them is not to be afraid of starting. And if needed, we are ready to share our experiences, he mentioned.

Read more articles on the latest edition of the BEC magazine here.
©badmintoneurope.com. All rights reserved.

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