23 June 2024
Behind the scence: Go Girl!

Behind the scence: Go Girl!

“Go Girl! Badminton project made by girls for girls”, was my first bright and shiny project, into which I pured my heart out.

It was autumn 2018, when I came up with idea of girls project in the region of Rheinland-Pfalz. I was lucky to have open minded and encouraging people at work around me, who said: “Oliwia, just go for it, I think it is great idea!”. So with support from my boss, we put this project into motion. All ideas, vision, mission, goals and strategy, were put into words and the structure of Go Girl! began to emerge. The plan was to create a long term project, which will give regular opportunity to invest in female badminton. In first year, I have planned 3 events: 2 weekend workshop and a summer camp opened to all youth age groups and all levels. All I needed was to find coaching staff and participants.

Since the administrative work seemed to be almost finished, I began to look for female coaches, who like me, would be happy to be part of this iniciative. It haven’t took long and I had mental coach Lisa Engelhard on board. Not much time longer, I had badminton coaches: Luana Marino and Kristina Moßmann commiting . And there we were, 4 women, who wants to make a change for girls.

As it appeared, badminton community was enthusiastic about it. I recieved a lot of positive feedback, before even the workshop has started. My enthusiasm started to fade, when reistrations to workshops hasn’t really followed. Fortunately all I needed was a little bit of patience and faith in my work.

First workshop was really a surprise. We had 9 participants, 4 female coaches and great atmosphere in the hall. We manage to provide a safe atmosphere, in which girls started to feel comfortable enough to open themselves up. As a result of this positive encouragment from coaches, girls gave everything they had in each training. They were smiling, laughing and chit-chatting on the way to the hall. And inside, they were still bonding, but also very focused on exercises. When they were leaving, they took with them this positive energy and slightly different attitude towards themselves. In next weeks, you could see, how their game has changed, how their approach to the training has changed. And that was already more, that I could have wished for.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get enough participants to do the summer camp, but I manage to organize one more workshop in autumn. I have invited girls from Poland, from my former regional association WOZBad. This time 18 girls and 5 coaches participated in the workshop. A house and a hall full of girls and female enegry. I have to admit that it was kind of magical. Never before I had experience such a thing. Girls were having fun, hanging out between trainings, and when the time come, they were supporting each other in the training. Sometimes there was a language barrier, but girls has founded a way aroung it. The positive support from coaching staff and acceptance from other girls were the key to make girls feel like they belong, that they are understood and appreciated. Coaching staff: Chiara Marino and Kristina Moßmann were teaching girls tricks, and each and everyone of participants has tried to do them. The goal was achieved, everyone has left with positive experience, some also with few new friends and a lots of good memories.

I am quite sure that half of the success was the team I was working with. I also believe that the way the team has behaved: natural, enthusiastic, with true passion, has influenced all participants. Genuine interest in each and every participant, acknowledging individuality and staying far from compartions, was something which girls needed to bring the best possible performance in the hall.

It happen to be first time for me to lead group of women. The idea of the project was very clear for each female coach. We spoke before workshop began about topics and issues, which needs to be taken care of. I trusted them and I wanted to bring the best they have into use. We had discussions about topics for each session. We made arrangments together, everyone had to be okay with the part of job they were supposed to do. As an example: organizing station training for 18 girls with 4 coaches, we made agreement, who is responsible for what. One was resposible for teaching/ improving technical skills in double defence, second one for teaching tricks, third was feeding with racket to improve some skills needed as a front court player in doubles and last one was taking care of athletic training. It was always very important for me to be sure that all my coaches are feeling comfortable with their tasks. My approach was to be open to my staff and involve them as much as possible, so they can make decision independable. There was never a problem, to ask a question. Maybe because I used to ask about their opinions, so they felt secure with asking me about mine. It was a great experience to see how those young female coaches got excited and thrive during those workshops.

Maybe that was the best outcome, which actually I have achieved. Young women investing their time to coach other girls. To share their passion in kind way. It was great feeling to be able to inspire them, so they can inspire others.

A month after the autumn workshop took place, I asked one of those passionate young female coaches to take over project, since I was moving to Austria. I new that Kristina will do just great. I saw her working and I knew, that what she has experienced, will stay with her and always be a goal to achieve during every workshop she will organize.

For more information about project you can visit BVRP website.

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