Swapnil and Sushil, proudly donning the colors of England, recently represented their country at the Iberdrola Spanish International Badminton Championships held in Ibiza from November 13th to 16th, 2023. This international event witnessed participation from over 20 countries, making it a melting pot of badminton talent from around the globe.
Ibiza, though quieter in November, proved to be a delightful host. The sun, generously providing much-needed Vitamin D, served as a welcome respite before returning to the "glorious" UK weather awaiting them in the coming months.
The Pressure Cooker:
The initial days of the tournament were intense, with Swapnil and Sushil navigating through grueling schedules of 11 and 15 hours consecutively. Swapnil marked his 100th match, while Sushil, wearing multiple hats, took on the role of line judge for the 101st match – a testament to the versatility demanded of badminton umpires.
In these tournaments, the true essence lies not only in the on-court responsibilities but also in the off-court interactions. Engaging in wonderful conversations and sharing experiences with umpires from diverse backgrounds becomes a highlight. Late nights, humorously labeled as "technical meetings," provide a platform for open and enjoyable discussions, with each umpire sharing unique anecdotes from their careers.
Assessment and Growth:
The tournament also featured assessments conducted by badminton stalwarts Christoph and Malcolm Banham, both top-level umpires in their own right. Their invaluable insights and guidance elevated the umpiring skills of all participants. Five umpires, including Swapnil successfully passed the NUWA examination, paving the way for formal assessment towards earning Badminton Europe Umpire level accreditation.
Congratulations and Acknowledgments:
The Iberdrola Spanish International Championships were impeccably organized by the Spanish Badminton Association. England's representation was robust, with a contingent of 10 players. Special congratulations to Leona Lee for clinching the Women's Singles title. Kudos to all the winners and participants who contributed to making this tournament a resounding success.
Swapnil and Sushil's journey at the Iberdrola Spanish International Championships not only showcased their skills as umpires but also underscored the broader tapestry of experiences and connections that make international badminton events truly special. It was a fantastic tournament that not only tested their on-court abilities but also enriched their umpiring careers through assessments, interactions, and shared moments with fellow enthusiasts from around the world