A member of the team at Specsavers’ support office in Nottingham has recently competed for England in the Para Badminton World Championships in Tokyo.
Owen Kilburn, 31 took part in three contests in the Wheelchair 1 category during the Japan games, which ran from 1st to 6th November.
The finance solutions automation analyst who works at Cirrus House on the NG2 Business Park, went for glory in the men’s singles and doubles, as well as the mixed doubles.
This was Owen’s fifth appearance at the Para Badminton World Championships where he partnered with Sharon Jones-Barnes in the mixed doubles and Gobi Ranganathan in the men’s doubles. Last year he won the UK National Championships mixed doubles title with Sharon and was runner up in the men’s doubles with Gobi.
Owen took up badminton when he was 15 when one of his teachers showed him a flyer about a new wheelchair club being set up. He played his first international competition in 2007 at the age of 16. Owen now trains at Chilwell Olympia in Nottingham with the support and backing of the Nottinghamshire Badminton Association (Notts BA) and coach Mick Newton.
‘I enjoy the intensity and pace of the game and to represent my country in this sport is a huge honour,’ he says.
Despite his best efforts, Owen was unable to win any titles but came away from the event in high spirits.
Owen explained: ‘The competition was very tough and my lack of practice during lockdown didn’t help. I throughly enjoyed the experience.’
Cirrus House is one of three Specsavers support offices, alongside offices in Guernsey and Southampton. It houses the Specsavers contact centre team, alongside employees from a range of other Specsavers departments including contact lenses, finance and corporate eyecare.