This is the 27th story in our Humans of Shuttle Time series, in which we present the perspectives of those who work on badminton development at the grassroots level. Tatiana Petrova, Shuttle Time National Coordinator of Kyrgyzstan, talks of her early interest in rhythmic gymnastics, her initiation into badminton, and her fascination with this sport.
I was born in Bishkek. My father had a PhD in technical sciences and was a lecturer in Kyrgyz State Technical University and my mother was engineer-constructor of a machinery plant. My parents worked in one place all their lives. They were dedicated to their work, and this trait was passed on to me. When I was five, I saw a rhythmic gymnastics competition on TV. Its beauty and grace attracted my attention, and my parents enrolled me. Later I won some tournaments and earned a Master of Sports in rhythmic gymnastics.
Introduction to Badminton
In our childhood we lived in an apartment building with a large courtyard. In the evenings our neighbours played badminton. This game interested me and many children. We asked our elders for rackets and enjoyed playing too. Those days we played with wooden rackets. We played late, with the lights on, and even the wind was not a hindrance. Everyone wanted to play.
I have always been interested in playing sports, but badminton attracted me most of all for the opportunity to play at any time and in any place (sport hall, courtyard, street, etc.).
When I was 11, my uncle took me to a sport hall where he played badminton. He was a member of the national team of Kyrgyzstan. I was immediately attracted to the sport. There were no children’s badminton sections then, and I played with the adult. It was interesting for me to play with them, there was something to strive for. My first coach was an Indonesian, Tirto Vereno Sumatri.
Love Affair With Badminton
Studying at school, training in rhythmic gymnastics and badminton took a lot of time and effort. I even ran away from the last lessons at school so as not to be late for badminton training, but this did not affect my studies at school in any way. I studied well and was an active in all school events, played school sports competitions in volleyball, basketball, and rhythmic gymnastics.
It was necessary to choose – rhythmic gymnastics or badminton. My parents wanted me to continue to seriously engage in rhythmic gymnastics. But I had no doubts – only badminton!
When I was 13, I won Kyrgyzstan championships and joined the national team. I will never forget my first victories, they will stay in my memory, like everyone who loves sports – forever.
Participation in tournaments, trips to different cities, meetings with more experienced badminton players have further increased my love for badminton and my desire to achieve success.
What Badminton Means
Badminton combines the plasticity of movements, speed, wisdom of game tactics, the need for quick decision-making and their execution.
Impact of Shuttle Time
A big role in the development of badminton in Kyrgyzstan was played by Shuttle Time in 2018. A large number of schoolteachers who had previously treated badminton as a funny game were acquainted with badminton under the Shuttle Time programme, and after Shuttle Time they showed greater interest and joined in.
I have learned from my own experience that programmes like Shuttle Time are necessary for the development of badminton around the world.
Previous Stories in This Series