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Para badminton: the DRC represented at the BWF classification workshop in Uganda

The national technical director of the Congolese Badminton Federation, Marcel Tshivuadi, is therefore one of the classifying trainees at this workshop in Kampala, including five from Uganda, one trainee from Nigeria, and another from India. It is reported that the BWF has four levels of classifiers including National Level 1 Classifier, National Level 2 Classifier, International Classifier and Senior International Classifier. The BWF coordinates and trains classifiers nationally and internationally.

The BWF Para Badminton Classification Panel is currently made up of 13 international classifiers, under the leadership of Dr Shamsul Azhar Shah from Malaysia. A para athlete himself, Dr. Shamsul has played a very important role in the growth of para badminton as a classifier with an immeasurable experience of over 26 years. Based on the BWF minimum disability criteria, para badminton athletes are classified into the following categories: Wheelchair Classes WH1 and WH2, Standing Classes with Lower Limb Disability SL3 and SL4, Standing Class with Handicap upper limb level SU5 and Small Size Class SH6.

« Classification is an important entry step for any athlete in para sport. The role of the classifiers is to evaluate the players and assign them to the different categories of para badminton in order to allow them to participate fairly in international competitions. To qualify as a BWF para badminton classifier one must have medical training, and if one is a former badminton player that is an advantage Dr. Shamsul Azhar Shah clarified to the press during the classification workshop ahead of the Uganda Para badminton internationals 2022 and the 2022 Africa Para badminton Championships scheduled from September 13 to 24, 2022.

Recommended by the Nigeria Para Badminton Coordinator to attend the first ever BWF Classifiers Workshop in 2017, Dr Kingsley Metu remains the first African in the BWF Classification Panel. Attending the Uganda workshop under the mentorship of Dr Shamsul, Kingsley Metu said, “ I started as a BWF classifier from humble beginnings in my country as a recreational badminton player. Initially, I was not passionate about this sport, but by getting involved I realized that I had a unique desire to help people with disabilities. I do not take this opportunity for granted, and I am grateful to the BWF and BCA for the steps and support they have given para badminton in Africa. Thanks to the support of the BWF, the number of trainees and national level 1 classifiers has increased “. Also a practicing doctor, he added that para badminton requires a lot of dedication and time and sometimes becomes a challenge for him to balance the two careers.

Regional head of badmintion development at the Confederation of Africa, Ahmed Reda, who is already a Level 2 national classifier, has gone through the training to become the second African international classifier. ” Since I joined badminton, I never had the opportunity to combine my two passions, badminton and medicine. I welcome this opportunity to take para badminton in Africa to new heights “, did he declare.

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