Para World Champs: Age No Barrier

Duke Trench-Thiedeman of Australia has not let defeats affect his spirit at the Yoyogi National Stadium this week.

At 69, Melbourne-based Trench-Thiedeman is the oldest player at this year’s BWF Para Badminton World Championships, 10 years senior to the next oldest player Thomas Wandschneider of Germany.

Trench-Thiedeman was in a tough group in the men’s singles WH1 category alongside Wandschneider but said age was just a number.

“I think what they’ll do is say you’re not allowed to be a hundred and on the court because insurance may not cover it,” he joked.

Duke is on a mission to grow Para badminton.

While Trench-Thiedeman began his badminton journey back in 2015 after a motorcycle accident, the tournament’s youngest competitor Anya Butterworth of England found badminton from a field of many sports only just last year.

“I started about a year ago in September and some people introduced me to this organisation called Dwarf Sports Association which had a lot of sports there,” Butterworth, 15 years and 28 days old, said.

“The person who runs it is Jack Shephard’s father and he encouraged me a bit more and introduced me to Para badminton. I then went to my first UK championships and kind of went on from there.”

Competing in the women’s singles and doubles SH6 events, she has had the additional challenge of juggling school and badminton.

Both Trench-Thiedeman and Butterworth may have had a sobering time on the court results-wise, but enthused over the amazing experience they’ve had to promote badminton to more people.

“It’s the spirit that really keeps it going. It’s not just badminton but a whole lifestyle of comradeship and being part of a bigger family,” Trench-Thiedeman said.

Butterworth, who met her doubles partner Yasmina Eissa of Egypt at a previous competition, has been humbled by the popularity of the sport at the elite level.

Anya Butterworth at her first BWF Para Badminton World Championships.

“This tournament is actually my second international,” she said. “I went to Spain earlier this year but this is on such a bigger level. I never thought there were these many players even in my category. It’s brilliant.”

A mentor for people with spinal cord injuries in Australia, Trench-Thiedeman wants more people with disabilities to pick up a badminton racket.

“I’m the President of the biggest Para badminton club in Victoria,” he said. “I want to help others through the sport by going around Australia and getting the numbers up and get them to experience the spirit of badminton.”

For Butterworth, success begins with awareness at home.

“Even most of my family knows about Para badminton now, and then it spread to other people who got really interested in it as well,” she said.

“My school is so small and they cannot believe that I’m here in Japan right now.”

→ Results (Day 4)

Olympic and Paralympic News

Para World Champs: Cheah Puts Ghost to Rest

Para World Champs: Cheah Puts Ghost to Rest

24 February 2024
Para World Champs: Krajewski/Simon Flying High

Para World Champs: Krajewski/Simon Flying High

23 February 2024
Para World Champs: Season of Promise for De Marco

Para World Champs: Season of Promise for De Marco

22 February 2024
Para World Champs: Chan’s Last Hurrah

Para World Champs: Chan’s Last Hurrah

22 February 2024
Para World Champs: A Special Moment for Jamporn

Para World Champs: A Special Moment for Jamporn

21 February 2024
Para World Champs: Faith, Paris Kept Kohli Going

Para World Champs: Faith, Paris Kept Kohli Going

21 February 2024
Para World Champs: Yang’s Speed Floors Seeded Ramli

Para World Champs: Yang’s Speed Floors Seeded Ramli

20 February 2024
In a Class of Her Own

In a Class of Her Own

17 February 2024
Wiser Chyrkov Aims Higher

Wiser Chyrkov Aims Higher

16 February 2024
Aranguiz Finds His Fit

Aranguiz Finds His Fit

14 February 2024
Ginns Races to Rack Up Points

Ginns Races to Rack Up Points

11 February 2024
Small Town Boy Dreams Big

Small Town Boy Dreams Big

9 February 2024
13-Event Calendar for Para Badminton

13-Event Calendar for Para Badminton

16 January 2024
The Quest for Paralympic Gold

The Quest for Paralympic Gold

3 January 2024
Debut Season Thrills Para Badminton Newcomers

Debut Season Thrills Para Badminton Newcomers

29 December 2023
Looking Back: ‘It’s Been Splendid’

Looking Back: ‘It’s Been Splendid’

23 December 2023
Dubai Para: High Five for China

Dubai Para: High Five for China

18 December 2023
Dubai Para: A First for Shin, Joo and Bolaji

Dubai Para: A First for Shin, Joo and Bolaji

17 December 2023
Dubai Para: Jakobs Overlooks the Lows

Dubai Para: Jakobs Overlooks the Lows

14 December 2023
Dubai Para: ‘My Shots Were Perfect’

Dubai Para: ‘My Shots Were Perfect’

13 December 2023
Dubai Para: Monteiro Focused on Meticulous Planning

Dubai Para: Monteiro Focused on Meticulous Planning

12 December 2023
Parapan Am Games: Brazil Dominate

Parapan Am Games: Brazil Dominate

27 November 2023
Rosengren ‘Positive and Happy’ After Malaysia Stint

Rosengren ‘Positive and Happy’ After Malaysia Stint

9 November 2023
Asian Para Games in Pictures

Asian Para Games in Pictures

4 November 2023
Western Australia Para: Teenager Puneyani Lands Maiden Title

Western Australia Para: Teenager Puneyani Lands Maiden Title

7 October 2023
Oceania Para: Robinson Captures Three Gold on Comeback

Oceania Para: Robinson Captures Three Gold on Comeback

2 October 2023
Para Badminton Circuit Announced for 2024

Para Badminton Circuit Announced for 2024

14 September 2023
French Prodigy Lefort a Real Prospect at Home Paralympics

French Prodigy Lefort a Real Prospect at Home Paralympics

29 August 2023
European Para Games: Mazur Bags Triple Gold

European Para Games: Mazur Bags Triple Gold

21 August 2023
Meet the Breakdancer-Turned-Para Shuttler

Meet the Breakdancer-Turned-Para Shuttler

13 August 2023
4 Nations Para: Trio Claim Double Crown

4 Nations Para: Trio Claim Double Crown

7 August 2023
4 Nations Para: Helle High on Life After Breakthrough Win

4 Nations Para: Helle High on Life After Breakthrough Win

5 August 2023
4 Nations Para: Paris Love Story Inspiring Rogerio and Edwarda

4 Nations Para: Paris Love Story Inspiring Rogerio and Edwarda

5 August 2023
4 Nations Para: Master Morten Amazed

4 Nations Para: Master Morten Amazed

4 August 2023
4 Nations Para: Home Bliss in Sheffield

4 Nations Para: Home Bliss in Sheffield

3 August 2023
Paris 2024: With a Year to Go, Festive Spirit Pervades

Paris 2024: With a Year to Go, Festive Spirit Pervades

26 July 2023
Badminton Lets Pu Gui Yu Enjoy the World

Badminton Lets Pu Gui Yu Enjoy the World

20 July 2023
African Para: Mariam Bolaji Stars for Nigeria

African Para: Mariam Bolaji Stars for Nigeria

17 July 2023
Uganda Para: Three-Gold Strike for Donghyun, Alphia James

Uganda Para: Three-Gold Strike for Donghyun, Alphia James

10 July 2023
Female Participation Grant Gives Space-Loving Nazaha Out-of-World Experience

Female Participation Grant Gives Space-Loving Nazaha Out-of-World Experience

27 June 2023
Canada Para: Bethell Extends Dominance Over Bhagat

Canada Para: Bethell Extends Dominance Over Bhagat

19 June 2023
Bahrain Para: Maiden Title for Burhanuddin; Double for Cheah

Bahrain Para: Maiden Title for Burhanuddin; Double for Cheah

24 May 2023
Thai Para: Daily Discussions Lead to Gold

Thai Para: Daily Discussions Lead to Gold

15 May 2023
Thai Para: Indonesia, Malaysia Halt China’s Domination

Thai Para: Indonesia, Malaysia Halt China’s Domination

14 May 2023
Thai Para: Overcoming the Racket

Thai Para: Overcoming the Racket

13 May 2023
Thai Para: Fast Friends Zooming Forward Together

Thai Para: Fast Friends Zooming Forward Together

13 May 2023
Thai Para: ‘I Got Tired of Losing’

Thai Para: ‘I Got Tired of Losing’

12 May 2023
Thai Para: It’s Looking Up for Krajewski

Thai Para: It’s Looking Up for Krajewski

11 May 2023
Thai Para: Sizing Up the Competition

Thai Para: Sizing Up the Competition

8 May 2023
Simon’s Eyes Set on Paris 2024

Simon’s Eyes Set on Paris 2024

4 May 2023
Brazil Para: Nitesh, Murugesan Shine

Brazil Para: Nitesh, Murugesan Shine

17 April 2023
Spanish Para: Bethell Brings it Home for the Team

Spanish Para: Bethell Brings it Home for the Team

27 February 2023
Spanish Para: Double Winner Kajiwara Keeping it Fun

Spanish Para: Double Winner Kajiwara Keeping it Fun

27 February 2023
Spanish Para: Sooyoung So Good

Spanish Para: Sooyoung So Good

26 February 2023
Spanish Para: My Time to Shine, Enthuses Ikhtiar

Spanish Para: My Time to Shine, Enthuses Ikhtiar

26 February 2023
Spanish Para: ‘Anyone’s Playing Field’

Spanish Para: ‘Anyone’s Playing Field’

25 February 2023
Spanish Para: It’s All Smiles for Loquette

Spanish Para: It’s All Smiles for Loquette

24 February 2023
Spanish Para: Jones-Barnes Spreading the Joy of Badminton

Spanish Para: Jones-Barnes Spreading the Joy of Badminton

23 February 2023
Spanish Para: Patience Key for Self Motivator Bunsun

Spanish Para: Patience Key for Self Motivator Bunsun

23 February 2023
Spanish Para: ‘This One’s For You, Bello’

Spanish Para: ‘This One’s For You, Bello’

22 February 2023
Spanish Para: New Season Brings New Faces

Spanish Para: New Season Brings New Faces

21 February 2023
Para Shuttlers’ Road to Paris Begins in Spain

Para Shuttlers’ Road to Paris Begins in Spain

18 February 2023
Boost to Para badminton with Inclusion at LA 2028 Paralympic Games

Boost to Para badminton with Inclusion at LA 2028 Paralympic Games

1 February 2023
Wandschneider/Hellman Chasing Fresh Records

Wandschneider/Hellman Chasing Fresh Records

4 January 2023
‘Extraordinary Year’ for Dual Paralympian Mathez

‘Extraordinary Year’ for Dual Paralympian Mathez

23 December 2022
Para Badminton Events for 2023 Confirmed, Paris 2024 Journey Begins

Para Badminton Events for 2023 Confirmed, Paris 2024 Journey Begins

26 November 2022
Para World Champs: Golden Firsts for Marlina, Kozyna

Para World Champs: Golden Firsts for Marlina, Kozyna

7 November 2022
Para World Champs: Peru’s Pilar of Strength

Para World Champs: Peru’s Pilar of Strength

7 November 2022
Para World Champs: Ukraine’s Kozyna Creates History

Para World Champs: Ukraine’s Kozyna Creates History

6 November 2022
Para World Champs: Indonesia Stamp Authority

Para World Champs: Indonesia Stamp Authority

6 November 2022
Para World Champs: Hellman/Wandschneider Script Magic in Tokyo

Para World Champs: Hellman/Wandschneider Script Magic in Tokyo

5 November 2022
Para World Champs: Poveda, Coombs Advance

Para World Champs: Poveda, Coombs Advance

5 November 2022
Para World Champs: Swiss, Japanese Ladies into Last Four

Para World Champs: Swiss, Japanese Ladies into Last Four

4 November 2022
Para World Champs: Satomi Dominant as Kajiwara/Murayama Crash Out

Para World Champs: Satomi Dominant as Kajiwara/Murayama Crash Out

4 November 2022
Para World Champs: Baby Not Medals on New Mum Oktila’s Mind

Para World Champs: Baby Not Medals on New Mum Oktila’s Mind

3 November 2022
Para World Champs: Mazur Leads French Charge

Para World Champs: Mazur Leads French Charge

3 November 2022
Para World Champs: Ukrainians’ Home Away From Home

Para World Champs: Ukrainians’ Home Away From Home

2 November 2022
Para World Champs: Two-time Champion McVeigh Hangs up his Racket

Para World Champs: Two-time Champion McVeigh Hangs up his Racket

2 November 2022
Para World Champs: Top Seeds off to Flier

Para World Champs: Top Seeds off to Flier

2 November 2022
Para World Champs: Debutants Revel in Representing their Nations

Para World Champs: Debutants Revel in Representing their Nations

1 November 2022
Para World Champs: Stars Return to Tokyo

Para World Champs: Stars Return to Tokyo

31 October 2022
Multiple Paralympic Medallist Czyz Explores Badminton’s Beauty

Multiple Paralympic Medallist Czyz Explores Badminton’s Beauty

10 September 2022
Paris 2024: Paralympic Qualification Regulations Released

Paris 2024: Paralympic Qualification Regulations Released

30 August 2022