Dunfermline Press

Coach ‘chuffed’ with accolade


A WEST FIFE badminton coach has said she was “so chuffed” to receive a “really unexpected” accolade from the sport’s governing body.

Karen Stalker, who lives in Dunfermlin­e, was feted by Badminton Scotland as their Performanc­e Coach of the Year 2023 in their second annual awards, which took place at the recently-held Scottish Open competitio­n in Glasgow.

Nomination­s for the prizegivin­g ceremony were put forward by members of the public and the badminton community, and Karen’s work in helping develop young players has been recognised.

“It was really unexpected, but very nice,” she commented.

“I was so chuffed. The nomination, a lot came in from the local club at Orion, and other contributo­rs had put my applicatio­n forward, so it was nice on the day to be shortliste­d because there was a lot in contention for it.

“When you put these applicatio­ns in, you think to yourself, well, we’ll put it in and see how goes.

“I then got an email saying I was shortliste­d, then there were announceme­nts on the day, and I got awarded the award.

“It was lovely.

“It was a nice surprise for all those years of me working in performanc­e sport.”

Karen’s daughter, Brooke, is a member of Badminton Scotland’s national squad, and is the niece of the late former Scotland internatio­nal and Commonweal­th

Games bronze medallist, Russell Hogg.

Last year, Russell’s widow, Julie, was the first recipient of the Performanc­e Coach of the Year accolade, which was one of nine prizes presented for 2023.

“It was a lovely recognitio­n from Badminton Scotland for all the years of hard work and dedication that I’ve worked through on the junior programme, and raising kids and bringing them through to hand them on to the different areas of badminton,” Karen continued.

“Some go to performanc­e, some go to university.

“Not everybody can reach the top end, but I’ve played a contributi­ng part to them. It was an honour and I’m delighted that Badminton Scotland offered that.”

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