Pictured: Ravi Nadan, holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch at the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games
Players were not the only group to celebrate the announcement of Para badminton being added to the Paralympic programme at the Tokyo 2020 Games. It boosts the fantastic opportunities available for technical officials too, with a chance to demonstrate their skills and professionality and contribute to the efficient running of badminton on the world’s biggest stage.
Australian line judge, Ravi Nadan, will be taking to the line judge seats in Tokyo next week, building on his experience from numerous global events, World Tour and Oceania-specific tournaments.
Listen to what Ravi had to say about his first Paralympic appointment:
This is your first Paralympic Games. What was your initial reactions after receiving a letter of position at the Tokyo 2020 Games?
I was ecstatic and pleasantly surprised for being nominated. You don’t get Olympic or Paralympic nominations every day and it is a dream come true. With Para badminton being played for the first time in Paralympics, it feels extra special.
What are you most looking forward to when line judging in Tokyo?
I am really looking forward to seeing some of the best athletes play, as well as working with other technical officials. I am sure to carry a lot of learnings and memories from the event.
You are an experienced line judge – can you give us a snapshot of the highest level of tournaments you have officiated at?
Yes, I have been a line judge at a number of local and state-wide tournaments in Australia and at the VICTOR Oceania Team and Individual Championships in 2019 and 2020. I have also been a part of the line judging team at a number of Oceania’s Grade 3 tournaments, the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games, Sudirman Cup 2017, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and the Macau Open 2019.
My experience in the Para space includes the Australian Para Badminton International (2018) and Oceania Para-Badminton Championships in 2018 and 2020.
What has the journey looked like to prepare for the Paralympics? Have you had to undergo any major learnings for the new classifications?
My preparation for Paralympics was bolstered by officiating in some of the high profile Para tournaments in my state (Victoria) and the Continental Championships. At these tournaments, I was able to get some guidance while working with some of the best technical officials in the region which has helped me tremendously.
How do you maintain your focus when judging a line and not get distracted?
It comes with practice. Also, having keen interest and immersion in the game helps me to focus better. So, hopefully I will bring my top game into the Paralympics.
Are there any interesting facts about line judging that the ‘average joe’ might not know?
To go unnoticed, especially on live TV and Hawkeye courts means you have done your job well. You don’t want to be remembered as the one who changed the course of the match. Court walk-ins are a ritual and always practiced multiple times to get it perfect – the “Penguin” is the leader who leads the team in and out of the court. Technical officials get the best court side view every single match. No money can buy you those seats.
Any other comments you wish to add?
Badminton is an exciting sport which is inclusive, and can be played at all ages and abilities. Being part of one of the fastest growing sports and getting a nomination to Paralympics is an absolute honour.
I like to take this opportunity in thanking BWF, Tokyo2020, Olympic and Paralympics Committees, AOC, Julie, Lynne and the entire Badminton Oceania staff, Jamie Parsons CEO from Badminton Australia, Sandy from BATOC, BV, BVCOC and all my technical official peers for this wonderful opportunity and encouragement to represent Badminton Oceania and Badminton Australia in Paralympics. Not to forget support from my family, friends and my employer.