Badminton Life

Indonesian Iron Lady Denies Manager's Role

She is known as the Iron Lady of badminton and, for a moment, she struck fear into the hearts of Malaysian players.

Mimi Irawan has a reputation as a tough nut in Asian badminton in her role as an official with the All-Indonesia Badminton Association (PBSI).

And with the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) looking for a full-time team manager, her presence during a training session at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara had players fearing that she was going the be that person.

However, Mimi eased their fears when she explained to the media that she was simply there on a fact-finding mission to study the facilities and administrative processes of the BAM, Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) and Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Both BAC and BWF headquarters are in Kuala Lumpur.

When asked by local media if she was in KL to take up the manager's post, she replied: "No, I am not here to work as the BAM's team manager. I am here on an official visit. The PBSI and BAC president (Dr Sutiyoso) wants me to learn a few things here."

She had a good look at the three offices and suggested that the BAC could do with more staff. BAC only has two staff members dealing with the requirements of 39 countries.

Mimi said the body needed much more personnel to efficiently take care of all organisational matters.

She was quoted as saying: "The PBSI have 33 provinces under their wings and we have more than 60 employees at the national training centre (in Cipayung). There are 39 countries under the BAC banner but only two people are working at their office. It must be tough for them.

"The BAM have a good training centre. Their administration office is also within the compounds. Our office is at Senayan and we have to travel about 30 minutes to reach the training centre. Maybe, we have to look into this."

BWF takes care of numerous international tournaments, including the Super Series events at the very highest level.

BAC's main event is the Asian Championships, which this year was held in Johor Bahru, in April.

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