Pictured: Duke Trench-Thiedeman, Australia. Photo Credit: Badminton Photo
Australia’s Duke Trench-Thiedeman has expressed his excitement on becoming the Para badminton representative on the Badminton Oceania’s Athletes’ Commission, helping to shape the future of Oceania’s events and initiatives for Para badminton players.
Duke has competed in all Victorian, Australian and Oceania Championships since 2016, represented Australia at two World Championships (2017 and 2019) and was awarded the 2020 Victorian Master Disabled Sportsperson of the Year Award, among many other accolades and responsibilities.
His experience in competing locally, regionally and internationally is bound to add a unique perspective to the quarterly meetings, chaired by Gronya Somerville.
Ultimately, the role of the Athlete’s Commission is to become an advocate for the players, enabling them to find a voice to discuss and implement effective initiatives and strategies with Badminton Oceania staff and Executive Board which enhance the player experience.
The inaugural Para badminton international tournament was held in Australia in 2018, in conjunction with the VICTOR Oceania Para Badminton Championships. Since then, the Oceania Championships has become a biennial feature on the tournament calendar, last taking place in 2020 when it was played in conjunction with the VICTOR Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championships – the only Para Badminton Continental Championships to take place that year. Duke has also participated in the Para badminton development camps that have taken place since 2018. He will now be able to empower his fellow players and advocate for such events and development opportunities in the future.
“My experience playing Para badminton internationally has given me a valuable understanding and unique perspective of what is required of an athlete and their capabilities.
“My role as a mentor and coach for people with disabilities puts me in good stead with the commission and players, bringing about the best outcomes for both”, says Duke.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) are also in the process of connecting Duke with the Chair of the BWF Para Badminton Athletes’ Commission, Richard Perot, from France.
Badminton Oceania’s Athletes’ Commission is made up of five players:
- Gronya Somerville (Australia – Chair)
- Duke Trench Thiedeman (Australia)
- Anona Pak (New Zealand)
- Ronan Ho-Yagues (New Caledonia)
- Louis Beaubois (Tahiti)
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