Ritchie Campbell receives BWF Distinguished Service Award

Badminton Europe’s Director of Finance since 2012 took part in his last BEC Congress as a member of Badminton Europe’s board of Directors, last weekend.

During the 6th BEC Awards Gala, Ritchie Campbell from Scotland was honored by receiving the BWF Distinguished Service Award (DSA) for his tremendous contribution to the European confederation over the years.

The award is presented by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) ‘in recognition of long and/or distinguished and exemplary service to badminton at the international level for at least 15 years.’

- I was not looking for the awards, I was not expecting them. My wish was to, as I said last night, deliver the last report and disappear off into the sunset. But having received them I am obviously very appreciative and grateful, Campbell said the morning after the Awards Gala.

The former Badminton Scotland President joins an exclusive club of DSA recipients from Europe, here including Erland Kops (Denmark), Gisela Hoffmann (Germany), Horst Kullnigg (Austria).

Badminton and politics
Campbell never had the intention and aspirations to join any political bodies, but it was something that ‘just sort of happened’, he explained. His first love was rugby, but after an injury he decided to devote his time to his studies and started to play badminton as a recreation.

- I got more interested in the world of badminton. I met my wife through tennis and badminton and then for reasons I became the treasurer and secretary of the local Midland Group Scottish Badminton Union, Campbell said about what badminton means to him.

He was put forward as a president for the Badminton Scotland and when he got into Badminton Europe’s Board of Directors in 2003 – then Council – he simply, in his own words; Just did the job that was expected of him.

- Eventually, I became the President of Scottish badminton and after that moved into Badminton Europe. And, during that period of time I have also served in another sporting body; I was a member of Scottish Sports Council for eight years and Chairman of the Scottish Sports Association. I represented Scotland at British Badminton Olympic Committee. So, it has just become a part of my life with no plan to be there. I do what I am asked to do if I think I can do it. And that’s the story.

- I’ve had a professional career. I am a chartered accountant and I have been practicing in Edinburgh for a long time. And I was a Senior partner for a long time. So, sport as a whole was something apart from my professional life and it was in form of relaxation.

The future of the confederation
As member of the board and since Director for Finance, Campbell have followed Badminton Europe for the last 15 years, and according to him, the confederation has developed significantly over the last 10.

- I think Badminton Europe is in a really strong position. It has created a platform for the next stage of its’ growth. So, I think Badminton Europe is going in the right direction.

- Every organization, every business that is going on the up comes to a point where you suddenly hit a, it’s almost like a plateau, which gives you time to reflect on what you have achieved and much more importantly, it gives you the opportunity to really think forward from there.

- What’s the next stage of the development. And I actually believe that is where Badminton Europe is at the moment. And I think that is one reason why it is good to have a sort of few new, fresh faces on the board.

The Scot left his seat as Director of Finance to Mike Robinson from England.

Appreciation from Badminton Europe
BEC President Gregory Verpoorten started the celebration early, by presenting Campbell with a thank you-plate from BEC for his work and dedication during the end of the 51st Annual Delegates’ Meeting on Saturday April 14th.

- I have respected Ritchie throughout the years tremendously. And, as a President since 2014, I have truly enjoyed having Ritchie as almost, let’s say the solid right hand in the federation.

- Ritchie has supported us on our strategy, Ritchie has supported us on the reset of our rule set, but far more than that and I think if you look at Ritchie from the outside you will not necessarily always see everything that Ritchie is involved in and everything that Ritchie is doing for the sport.

- Ritchie is there to spare with the office, to do all the review of the people at the office. You would think of Ritchie as a Director of Finance because that is what he has been officially over the last couple of years, but I really think of Ritchie as one of the pillars of our organization, the President said before Campbell got a standing ovation in the room.

- Four different presidents in Badminton Europe in these fifteen years and every one of them have brought something different. If I have helped them to make a contribution, then I think I can be quite satisfied with my own contribution, Ritchie Campbell said in his last interview with Badminton Europe as a part of the board, before he could set off into the sunset.

Report and image courtesy of Badminton Europe