Gary McLernon: Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

A huge congratulations to Gary McLernon who been selected to serve as a Line Judge at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, from 29 August – 2 September 2024.

Gary has been an official for Badminton Scotland since 2008/2009 season, and has been involved in a number of events such as the Scottish Open, All England, Commonwealth Games (Glasgow and Birmingham), World Championships, World Tour Finals in China, and various other events all over Europe.

We caught up with Gary on his achievement, and you can read the Q&A below.

Q&A with Gary

Can you give us a little bit of background about your passion for badminton and how you became a line judge…?

I first started playing badminton at youth club in Motherwell, over 40 years ago. I stopped playing and then saw an advert for an adult club in Cumbernauld, just a social club. I then saw an advert from Badminton Scotland for line judges, and the rest is history!

What is your favourite thing about being a line judge?

You are so close to the action, and have the best seat in the arena. It is an opportunity to meet likeminded people from across the world.

Is there a standout memory/experience from your time officiating?

I have two standout memories, both from the 2017 World Championships in Glasgow. The first was watching the ladies singles between Nozomi Okuhara and P.V. Sindhu, this game lasted nearly 2 hours and was an amazing spectacle. The other standout memory was watching Viktor Axelsen beat Lin Dan to win his first World Championship. It was a pleasure to sit on the line watching this.

What do you most look forward to about Paris 2024 Paralympic Games?

This will be my first time officiating at an event solely for Para Athletes. It is going to bring the best disabled athletes from all sports, and will be a pleasure to be involved in this.

What does it mean for Scottish badminton to have recognised officials travelling to European and International competitions?

This is fantastic. Scotland is a small nation, and we are a small group, and it shows how high our standard is that we are invited to attend these events.

What advice would you give to volunteers or anyone thinking about becoming an official?

Absolutely come and give it a go! It gives you the chance to watch the best badminton players in the world close up, and also gives you the chance to see the world while you are doing it!

Thank you Gary, and we wish you all the best for Paris in 2024!

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