Female Participation Grant Continues to Make a Big Impact

April 3, 2023

SL3 Para badminton player Cambell Plant refused to be shackled by the stigma those living with disabilities sometimes face.

“I have always wanted to break down disability barriers,” said the 29-year-old recipient of the BWF Female Participation Grant 2023, which supports a new athlete’s participation needs, including classification.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler, Plant was a very active child, taking part in athletics before switching to Para swimming at the age of 10, representing Great Britain at tournaments internationally.

“I feel it is important to show others that disable people really can do anything. I used to be a swimmer for Great Britain, but I retired from that because I wanted to focus on my degree in Chemical Engineering,” beamed Plant after making her overseas debut at the Spanish Para Badminton International 2023 in February.

“When badminton was announced on the programme for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, I thought I would find out what it was like. I got a coach and I have been playing for a year,” said Plant.

Playing across three categories, she admitted the discovery of a sport that helps her have fun thanks to the funding received from the BWF.

“I wouldn’t be here (in Vitoria) if BWF didn’t fund me. It is great to have the experience, I have the motivation within me to get more training and constantly improve. When you’re in my category, it’s quite hard to get through to play these kinds of events and I’m grateful to BWF for this opportunity,” she added referring to Para Category 2 tournaments.

Plant revealed her badminton inspiration also came from her family and how determined she is to pursue a career in the sport.

“My Grandmother was a really good player and that’s another reason to take up the sport. I’m having so much fun competing.”

Right: Cambell Plant (SL3) from England

Home hope, Selenia Pla Mompo (SL3) from Spain was also a recipient of the grant, making her badminton debut at age 15.

“I was very nervous to be playing here in Spain. I think it helps to have my team around me,” said Pla Mompo after playing her first match.

“I have been playing badminton for a couple of years, but learning about this programme really helped change things for me and I hope I can play more tournaments and experience travel. When I told my school friends where I was going, I got a  postitive reaction and they told me how proud they are of me.”

Selenia Pla Mompo (SL3) from Spain

Agnieszka Etavard Glemp (WH1) from France was introduced to badminton by her children, having previously played basketball.

“I fell in love with the sport. The funding from BWF has helped me to get classified. What I really wanted to see was how I could play in a singles match. It was very exciting. I had such a rush of good feelings as I came onto court. I do like playing women’s doubles. I have made a lot of new friends and experienced new things. I will continue to play badminton and basketball.”

Agnieszka Etavard Glemp (WH1) from France

Anastasiia Zavalii from Ukraine and Dalya Seleman from Germany also received the grant and made their debut at the Spanish Para Badminton International 2023.

Photo Credit: BadmintonPhoto