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IOC lavish praise on Badminton Wycombe officials
BADMINTON Wycombe officials have been praised to the rafters by world bodies for organising and running the most successful Badminton event in Olympic history.
The London 2012 badminton competition took place at Wembley Arena, with five Badminton Wycombe members playing integral roles.
Chief among them was Abby Kumar, the development director at Badminton Wycombe.
It was his job to manage the line judges before and during the competition, and he earned lavish praise from the organisers.
Kumar said: “The International Olympic Committee said it was the best Olympic badminton event they’ve ever seen, and the Badminton World Federation said it was the best badminton event ever.
“I said, ‘even better than Beijing? And they said ‘yes’.”
Kumar was joined at the Games by Wycombe coach Mark Lawrence, who was the official racket stringer for the competitors, manager of Wycombe Badminton Fiona Foy, who was a line judge at the Games, and Chrystelle Corps, a receptionist at Wycombe Badminton who was a Gamesmaker.
Further, unpaid coach Peter Statham carried the torch and former Bucks County Badminton Association chairman Ian Moody was responsible for organisation within Wembley Arena.
But it’s Kumar who deserves the lion’s share of the credit for initiating an ambitious recruitment drive nearly four years ago to ensure London 2012 had the best of the best on the line.
The idea was to introduce more younger judges to the game, and then cherry the pick the best and develop them.
Kumar said: “That training scheme specifically for the Olympics was my idea. We got funding from Badminton England and I think it’s the main reason why we got top-class officials. When a gold medal is at stake, you don’t want mistakes.”
In total, 60 of the 80 line judges were from supplied by the host country and 27 of those qualified from Kumar’s training programme.
He said: “It took months and months of hard work by so many people. We’re talking two years of preparation so that when we got to the arena everything was ready to be put in place.
“Sometimes you can get quite emotional about it because you work really hard and when it goes off you feel wonderful. It was a team effort, and we did it.”
“It was absolutely amazing. I think the word is breathtaking and we won’t forget this. It was an absolute privilege to be involved.”
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