At 26, Georges Julien Paul still has many years of badminton ahead of him, but the Mauritian also has a backup plan for his post-playing career. Having completed his degree in marketing, Paul has enrolled for the Post Graduate Certificate in International Sport Management scholarship programme granted by BWF in association with World Academy of Sport (WaOS).
The PGCert ISM is specially designed to provide opportunities for dual-career athletes who want to pursue their education without giving up their elite sporting goals. The certification is jointly offered by WaOS and University of London; as the course is 100 per cent online and can be completed over a period of five years, athletes have sufficient time to schedule their studies in between training and competition.
“I did my degree in marketing management. I was looking for another course as I cannot start working now, and I want to build up more of my educational side. So when I stop playing, I have backup with my studies. I tried to enrol (for the BWF-WaOS programme), and I was really happy and lucky to get the scholarship,” said Paul, currently ranked No.103, who has enrolled in the September 2022 batch.
“Mauritius is quite small and it’s not very easy to be a full-time athlete as we aren’t getting enough funds to be full-time athlete. So every athlete in Mauritius needs to have have a backup plan, in terms of studies. So this is my backup plan.”
Paul gave a good account of his abilities at the TotalEnergies BWF World Championships 2022 beating Luis Armando Montoya Navarro of Mexico in a late first round match, before coming up short against Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
“It’s really, really good for me because I’m not used to play very big events,” said Paul, on the experience of playing the World Championships. “I play (such events) once or twice a year. I miss these conditions and opponents because when you play against good opponents you become better. So I’m just trying to get as much as I can from these types of players.”
Having previously trained at Centre of Excellence in Denmark and a private academy in Malaysia, Paul’s post-World Championships plan is to shift base to France.
“I’m planning to move to a club in France to get better sparring. I’ll be based in France and training there and play more tournaments in Europe. The level is higher there. Once I’m there let’s see if I can get more options.”