Peter Chiu: TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023

A huge congratulations to Peter Chiu who has received confirmation of his appointment as a line judge at the TotalEnergies BWF Sudirman Cup Finals 2023 in Suzhou, China, from 14-21 May 2023.

Peter has been an official for Badminton Scotland since February 2016 and has been involved in a number of events such as the German Open, Scottish Open, All England Championship, European Men & Women Team Championship, Thomas & Uber Cup, Commonwealth Game 2022 & World Championship.

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

Q&A with Peter

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

I was an athlete before retiring from the National Team in track and field and spent most of my youth life competing in various events or practice to become more competitive. At that time, I knew nothing about my passion for badminton.

It was not until 2008 when I met Rita Yuan Gao, who was a world top badminton player and is still heavily involved in developing the sport nowadays, I was asked to provide some basic physical training to Junior Badminton players and introduced to badminton coaching.

Since then, I started to coach in community badminton groups. Supported by Badminton Scotland and Glasgow Life, I was one of the volunteers in Glasgow Badminton Academy (GBA) who achieved basic coaching qualifications. We didn’t have any professional coaches for a long time until Ray Stevens offered to coach in the club. As many of you would have known about Ray from his numerous international titles and a successful coaching career, GBA was fortunate to have him as a head coach. And for me, Ray is like a mentor who has always been inspiring and encouraging. With the support from him and the club, I achieved a UKCC Level 2 coach qualification in 2018.

Almost in parallel, I have volunteered in the Scottish Badminton Open for a few years. I first met Jane Russell (who later became my coaching instructor) in 2015 when I was volunteering at the event reception. I still remember the day when she handed me a form and started our conversation by the question “Do you want to become a Line-Judge in 2017 Glasgow World Championship”.  I answered “Why not, I have been helping in Scottish Open for a few years in different roles – Coaching Zone, Fun Game zone, Reception and Yonex Stand. So I can try something new now”. Then I was put in contact with Marisa Baird the Line Judge co-ordinator at Badminton Scotland and became a part of a very dedicated court officials team.

In addition to coaching and line-judging, my interest has extended to umpiring. I started to umpire in 2018 and now I’m a qualified umpire at National level.

What is your favourite thing about being a line judge?

Firstly, we are positioned in the best seats for watching the game, which is such a privilege to have. We get to meet people around the world who contribute to the badminton sport in different roles. We share our experiences and become friends. And then we meet again at the next event somewhere else in the world.

The other great aspect of this role is that I get to witness the progressions of badminton players, seeing junior players having their skills improved at each game and growing into confident and competitive young athletes who represent Scotland touring around the world.

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

As a retired athlete, I always get inspired by players who overcome challenges and constantly push themselves to the limit. I can never forget in 2017, I line-judged at the Women’s Singles Final of the World Championship taking place in Glasgow. It was the second longest women’s singles match in the history, lasting 110 minutes. Both players fought so hard and it was really obvious that towards the end of the match both were reaching their limit, but they still managed to pull themselves together performing at the best as they could until the very last minute. I stood very close to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara when she gave her post-match interview after winning the title. Her speech made me feel very emotional.

What do you most look forward to about The Sudirman Cup Finals in 2023?

The last Sudirman Cup took place in Vantaa, Finland, it was a closed-door event due to Covid restrictions. Players were competing in an empty stadium and the games could only be watched on TV screens. Now we are returning to normal. I’m really looking forward to seeing supporters from all over the world joining the event to support their teams, noises from audience seats which would rock the arena.

What does it mean for the Scottish badminton to have recognised officials travelling to international competitions?

It will be wonderful for Scottish Badminton court officials presenting at international competitions, especially at top-level events. We can learn from the experience and get ourselves ready for the future when it is Scotland’s turn to plan and organise any major event. We have some of the most talented players in the world, we have world-class facilities, and we have a lot to offer in Scotland. We are all geared up for hosting events at the highest standard.

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

I would say “Have a try”! When I sat in the Emirates Arena watching Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014 I have never thought about becoming a BWF recognised Technical official, which is such an honour to have.

Badminton is a wonderful sport that everyone can get involved in different or multiple ways. Becoming an official opens a door to this wonderful world. You might not be a fantastic badminton player, but you could be a fantastic technical official.

If this was not for you, there are plenty of other opportunities to become a part of it. No matter which post you choose to take up, there are a wide range of training courses on offer from Badminton Scotland and you will be well supported by the badminton community along your development path.

In addition to Sudirman Cup 2023, Peter tells us he is very excited to have been appointed to the European Games Krakow 2023 in Poland: “When I was an athlete, I didn’t make it to take part in Olympics, now I’m hoping to fulfil my “Olympic Dream” one day in a different role. I have a lot of people to thank for along my journey in addition to the people who have been mentioned earlier. Their support has been invaluable”.

Badminton Scotland is proud to have a team of professional officials who regularly attend European and International competitions and we hope that Peter’s story will inspire others to get involved and “have a try”!

Thank you Peter and we wish you all the best for the Sudirman Cup Finals and European Games – we’ll be keeping an eye out for you on the big screen!

If you’d like to train as a Line Judge please contact Marisa Baird for information on future courses and events.

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