UWS graduate and badminton star Kirsty Gilmour sets up new venture to ‘give something back’

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Olympian and UWS alumna Kirsty Gilmour has announced a social enterprise venture “to give something back to badminton”.

Kirsty is launching Badminton Academy Social Enterprise, or BASE, which will be open to anyone interested in the sport. “It’s going to be a social enterprise and a place that is completely inclusive for everyone from all walks of life, to all budget requirements, and hopefully it’s really accessible for anyone who wants to be a part of badminton.” she told the Daily Record.

Kirsty will set-up the social enterprise with her Uncle David and other partner Andrew. “I’ve been thinking about something along these lines for a while, but it was really just from chatting with my uncle David and Andrew, and we’re all really passionate about it.

Ranked in the top 30 in the world, UWS graduate Kirsty’s notable achievements in Badminton include Commonwealth Games Silver 2014 and Bronze 2018, Rio Olympian 2016, 3 European Individual Silver Medals, 1 European Women’s Team Bronze Medal.

“I wouldn’t say I’m at the end of my career at all, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about and I’m in a good place to set it up now.
“I think for me to leave the sport with something really positive would be great – not that I’m planning on leaving the sport, this is not at all to do with retirement.

“It’s just looking at the next step, and giving something back while I’m still in badminton – I don’t see why you have to wait until after you’re in the sport to give back.

“This can hopefully be a nice, positive impact I can have on the sport.”

“It’s quite necessary, people are looking for new ways to engage in sport,” she said. “The pandemic has proved more than ever that physical activity is a great way to upkeep and improve mental health.

“If we can use all those positive messages that have been banded around, and for it to feed into our positive message of getting people involved in badminton, then I think that’s great. We are still looking for a solid facility – a base, if you will. We’re ready to go, all the ideas are there.

“Everyone’s welcome – kids, seniors, mums, dads – and we’re hoping it’s a space where anyone can get involved.”

Born in Bellshill, Kirsty starting playing Badminton aged 4. A keen footballer, Kirsty choose badminton over football and joined the Glasgow School of Sport aged 11.

Kirsty won her first senior caps at 16 years old and became the youngest badminton player to attend a Commonwealth Games for Scotland when she competed at Delhi 2010 having just turned 17. She then went on to compete at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2011, winning Singles bronze. Kirsty was named Scottish Young Sports Personality of the Year 2012. While studying at UWS, at Glasgow 2014 she became the first Scottish woman to reach a Commonwealth Games Badminton Singles final, winning silver. Following graduation in 2015 with a BA Creative Industries Practice, Kirsty returned to the podium at the Gold Coast 2018 with a second successive Singles medal, this time a bronze.

(Photo: Badminton photo)

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