Triumph Beyond the Court: Athletes Shine as Graduates of Dual Career Programme

December 3, 2023

In a groundbreaking initiative launched in 2020, the BWF – (World Academy of Sport) WAoS scholarship programme aimed to empower dual-career athletes, providing them with the unique opportunity to balance elite sporting endeavours with education. As a testament to the success of this initiative, two athletes, Adham Hatem Elgamal and para badminton player, Ritah Asiimwe (SU5) have recently achieved a significant milestone by graduating from the prestigious University of London’s Postgraduate Certificate in International Sports Management programme.

Elgamal ranked world No.43 in men’s singles, has not only excelled on the badminton court but has also demonstrated his commitment to academic excellence. His recent triumphs at the Benin International 2023, where he emerged as champion in men’s singles and mixed doubles, showcase his prowess in the sport. Additionally, his participation in the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2023 and the All Africa Individual Championships 2023, where he secured second place in mixed doubles, further solidifies his status as a distinguished athlete.

Adham Hatem ELGAMAL | Dual Career Journey | BWF World Championships 2023

Reflecting on the impact of the scholarship and education on his life, The Egyptian emphasised the transformative power of education, stating, “I believe education has a huge power nowadays and it has a huge impact on all aspects of life. I believe everyone must have a back-up plan after finishing their professional career. For me, after badminton, I have my own plan, which is to help athletes around the world. The scholarship changed my whole career and my life.

Asiimwe, an international para badminton player from Uganda, adds to the inspirational narrative. Ranked 15th in women’s singles, she has not only participated in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games but also secured a bronze in women’s doubles SL3-SU5 at the Africa Para Badminton Championship 2023. Her journey exemplifies resilience, determination, and the ability to conquer both physical and academic challenges. 

As both athletes celebrate their academic achievements, they are simultaneously embarking on the challenging Road to Paris, striving to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympic Games. Should they succeed, it would mark their second appearance on the grand Olympic and Paralympic stages, a testament to their dedication to both their sporting and educational pursuits. In a world where the demands on athletes are ever-evolving, initiatives like the BWF-WAoS scholarship programme and academic pursuits such as the University of London’s Postgraduate Certificate in International Sports Management provide essential support structures.  

Since the collaboration launched in 2020, 24 candidates (14 players) have enrolled in the programme including Georges Julien Paul and Gronya Somerville.