March 8, 2023
International Women’s Day recognises women who continuously strive to achieve their professional and personal goals in all spheres of life. The BWF is highlighting the women who are lighting up the badminton world in honour of International Women’s Day.
Just 14% of coaches at the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic Games were female, according to the International Olympic Committee. A staggeringly low statistic. The lack of women in prominent coaching roles does little to dispel the notion that sports are a male-dominated environment or to make them more appealing to women as participants, volunteers, coaches, or administrators.
The BWF Development team has throughout the years, actively promoted coaching as a career option and developed appropriate support programmes to help to address this gender gap, as well as helping athletes manage their retirement from elite competition.
One former player to benefit from BWF’s coaching programme was Monika Radovska, who graduated from the BWF Level Three Coaching course.
“If one can teach and pass knowledge over to young players, then you should consider coaching,” said the former player from Latvia.
Radovska made the switch from playing on the green pro courts to coaching players after discovering BWF Level One Coaching course in 2014. The former women’s singles and doubles player was a scholar of the course in June 2022 and hasn’t looked back since.
“The profession of badminton coaching is about giving, teaching, mentoring, advising others, and constantly learning yourself.”
Level 3 is BWF’s highest coaching course, aimed at very experienced coaches with a good understanding of their national systems.
Through a combination of theory discussions and on-court application, the course gave 15 participants from Europe the chance to challenge their preconceived notions about coaching. In-depth discussions about how players enter and progress through a national system, as well as how to work with those players who make it to the elite level, were also covered by the candidates and tutors to support top performance.
The Latvian reached a career-high of 107 with Leva Pope in women’s doubles, told the BWF how much playing badminton professionally had equipped her with life-time aptitudes and her reasoning for others to get involved with coaching.
“I have learnt many skills over the years from developing my organisation and communication skills. Variety is a keyword in badminton. It is both an individual sport and a team sport, it is an intellectual game, where one has to think and make decisions. The technique is quite versatile too, there’s a huge range of different shots that makes the sport amusing and entertaining while being a complex one.
“If you are passionate about badminton and you want to share your knowledge – then go for it. It’s good to have a clear vision of what you want to do, make a plan for it and work hard for it. Unsurprisingly, badminton is the universal recipe for lasting happiness.”
Grateful for the opportunity to remain in the badminton family after retiring from the sport in 2020, she revealed the key factor in promoting coaching careers to women.
“The BWF has been great about launching programmes for everyone to enter, and especially women. It is about own determination, persistence and hard work. Badminton is accessible to any age, level or background of the player and it’s the same for coaching.”