Former para-badminton national team head coach nominated for BEC Diversity Award

The former para-badminton national team head coach, Kaity Hall, has been nominated for Badminton Europe’s Diversity Award.

Like many great Scottish players, Hall started her badminton career at the Games Hall in Mauchline. Playing after school and during the holidays, her love for badminton grew under the watchful eye of Tommy Mulgrew and she eventually went on to represent Scotland between the ages of 14 and 18.

From there, Kaity’s journey into para-badminton was guided by her coach at the time, the late Russell Hogg, and galvanised by her experience volunteering at the Four Nations Disability Championships where she was introduced to Lyndon Williams, along with a number of great para-athletes and coaches.

“He was the epitome of badminton” she said, speaking of Hogg, “he was the best coach and I try and model myself on him, how I work with players.”

Hall went on to take the disability badminton course organised by Hogg and Williams and from then on, her involvement snowballed.

“In 2012 I was asked to coach the Para-Badminton Team at the Europeans and I snapped up the opportunity.

“I was then the head coach for the national team for six years until 2018 when I moved down to London.”

She has travelled across the globe delivering workshops for players and coaches in partnership with Badminton Europe and the Badminton World Federation as a Para-Badminton tutor and finds aiding the growth and development of the sport to be extremely rewarding.

“At my last European Championships I met a coach who had taken part in a disability coaching course three years ago. It was amazing to see that he had three players in the event that year, when previously he hadn’t had any.”

Over the past couple of years, Hall has put her efforts into starting up the Anders Disability Badminton Charity alongside Lorraine Byrdie. Although it is still early days, the charity is already making waves by providing sponsorship for promising Para-Badminton players and working with clubs, governing bodies and local sports authorities to increase opportunities and educate coaches.

“One of my key messages for clubs and coaches is that para-badminton isn’t something scary! It’s not a different sport, it’s all badminton.

“We need confident and inclusive clubs and clubs that advertise themselves as being inclusive so that anyone can go along and play badminton.”

Kaity was initially unaware she had been nominated for the Badminton Europe Diversity Award until she opened up Facebook:

“It was a nice surprise for a Tuesday afternoon!” the former Scottish Para-Badminton Head coach commented.

The award winners will be announced at the 2022 BEC Awards Gala in Valletta, Malta on 9 April 2022. For the full list of nominees, click here.