Two local badminton talents have earned places in the 2019 BWF Badminton World Senior Championships this summer.
Cathy Bargh will compete in the over-55 women’s age group, while Mark Burgeman will play in the over-35 men’s section at the prestigious global event, which will take place in the Polish city of Katowice from August 4-11.
Bargh has been featured in Observer Sport on many occasions for her considerable success at top level tournaments on the national, continental and global stage.
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The story of Burgeman has been far less chronicled, but it’s one of a fairly rapid rise and which is an example of what can be achieved with a combination of ability and hard work.
Before moving to Hastings around five years ago, Burgeman played squash with work colleagues weekly, but had never played any sport competitively.
He wanted to keep fit by playing a sport and found out about the open badminton sessions which Bargh runs at Summerfields Leisure Centre.
After playing for some time, Bargh told Burgeman he was a good player and with some coaching, could improve a lot.
He took up her coaching every other week and progressed quickly. Bargh told him that to advance more, he would have to join a club and play league matches.
After asking around, Burgeman decided to join Woodlands Badminton Club and duly played league matches for two of its sides, even captaining the men’s B team this season.
In August 2018, Bargh told Burgeman she would be playing in the Kent Gold tournament in Gillingham, and suggested he have a go and see what happens.
Since then Burgeman has been hooked on the tournaments and has played in every one he’s been able to get to.
He has been improving ever since, and has now been accepted to play in the over-35 men’s singles and doubles at the World Senior Championships.