NorDan Announces Sponsorship of UK No1 Badminton Player Kirsty Gilmour
We are proud to announce a title sponsorship deal with UK number one and Commonwealth silver medallist badminton player, Kirsty Gilmour. It comes at the perfect time for the 23-year-old who had recently seen her salary halved and lost £30,000 in expenses after badminton was one of six sports to lose its Olympic funding.
As a company, NorDan have a history of supporting young aspiring athletes, having sponsored Linlithgow Thistle Amateur Football Club in 2015 and para-athlete Megan Dawson-Farrell at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow in 2014 as part of our corporate social responsibility initiative. We are a family-run business and known for our high-performance products, and are very pleased to be able to support dedicated athletes with who we share similar values.
Kirsty, from Bothwell, Scotland has been passionate about the sport since she started playing at age 4, encouraged by her father who was a national junior coach and took her along to sessions. She attended the Glasgow School of Sport in 2005 aged 11, began in the Scottish Senior Squad at 15 and played her first Senior International when she was 16.
After her Scottish International debut in 2009, she has since enjoyed a glittering career with success in gaining 11 Scottish titles, numerous wins in Grand Prix and International Challenge events worldwide, representing Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Glasgow and then representing Britain at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She ended that successful run with a most impressive world ranking of 14. She has also received sporting awards of Glasgow Athlete of the Year in 2015 and Scottish Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2012.
Kirsty’s commitment to her sport is clear, training an average of five hours every day along with countless hours on the physio table. After the Olympics, in October 2016 she underwent knee surgery to repair cartilage damage and after a four-month rehabilitation, made her comeback in Perth in February. She is currently world number 18 with plenty of ambition, aiming to reach the world top 5 or even top 1 in all world events, such as the Commonwealth Games, Europeans, Olympics and Worlds. Kirsty is confident that working with her new coach from Malaysia will enable her to reach these goals.
The recent funding cuts by UK Sport however threatened to have a devastating effect on Kirsty’s career, as GB Badminton used to arrange and pay for all travel and hotels to enable Kirsty to attend tournaments. Along with the rest of the Scotland badminton team, Kirsty now has to arrange her own itineraries and spend time searching out cost cutting deals, utilising time she feels would be better spent training. This involves weighing up options such as taking two connecting flights instead of one, staying in a cheaper hotel away from the tournament or travelling without a coach or a physio. She feels this extra stress leaves her at a disadvantage as most of her competitors are not having to do this and that even the smallest of margins can make a difference in winning.
Despite Great Britain winning its first Olympic badminton medal since 2004 in Rio and badminton meeting performance targets set by UK Sport, the organisation took the decision to cut funding to the sport. Kirsty previously had a personal award from UK Sport to allow her to train full time and a competition budget to allow her to compete all over the world to gain the necessary points for competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
It was this funding gap that led to Kirsty seeking a sponsorship deal and NorDan, along with the support of key supply chain partners, were only too happy to step in and support this rising star, now enabling her to compete in 20 tournaments per year with sponsorship covering costs for her travel, accommodation, equipment and competition preparation, as well as being on hand to offer advice and support. We are proud to be a family firm, with family principles and true Norwegian integrity and we believe Kirsty is the perfect fit to represent our values.
Kirsty is delighted to represent NorDan and has stated:
“NorDan sponsorship allows me to be able to do my job to the best of my ability. If I didn’t have them it would be very, very difficult. Without the sponsorship, I wouldn’t be able to travel and that would mean I couldn’t get the world ranking I have achieved, so this allows me to put myself in the best position possible for the World Championships and compete with the best. I need to be constantly competing at that level to maintain world class level. The sponsorship will allow me to stay at tournament hotels and cover transport, allowing me to focus on my game.”
She added: “It’s really nice to be working with a really nice, down to earth company and we have a good relationship. I am really grateful and I hope I can do the company justice.”
Kirsty is due to compete at the Badminton World Championships at the Emirates Stadium in Glasgow in August and the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in 2018. NorDan are looking forward to an exciting period ahead with Kirsty and we wish her all the very best of fortunes.
NorDan will share news and events that Kirsty is involved in throughout the year but you can follow her journey on her social media channels here:
Tickets to see Kirsty compete in the Badminton World Championships in August are available from Badminton Scotland.