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Kevin Barkman, Hope Through Sports

$5,415 of $16,560 goal

Raised by 39 people in 13 months
Created June 15, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Kevin Barkman
Kevin Barkman’s goal is to inspire hope in the next generation through competing in badminton. He wants to help kids and show them that anything is possible, regardless of where you come from. Kevin provides high quality training to those who can least afford it. He wants to show the next generation the path, but he has to walk it first. It’s a big dream. An impossible dream, really. They say it takes a village. It requires community that supports this goal for gold to show young people that anything is possible. It takes a village that empowers the next generation by sending an unlikely contender to Olympics and World Championships. You can be part of that village, inspiring hope by helping Kevin get to the Olympics and World Championships.

I am Kevin's mom and am helping him manage his badminton journey. As missionaries whose home is in Manitoba, Canada but have lived all over the world, we are excited about this opportunity for Kevin. We currently live in Spokane, Washington and work at Moody Aviation, a school that trains missionary pilots.

The goal includes funding received for past tournaments, as well as funding for Kevin's tournaments through the end of the year, which should put him a good spot to qualify for worlds in 2021 while continuing to strive toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!

Kevin is a 23-year-old badminton player who has been chasing his dream of professional badminton since his young teenage years. Kevin’s parents raised him overseas where they supported local communities through a non-profit. Kevin was surrounded by need and saw badminton open doors to kids that otherwise lacked opportunity. He wanted to help, and he believed he could eventually do so through badminton. As a young teen, Kevin told his parents his dream of playing Peter Gade. As a 20-year-old, he played Gade in an exhibition game in Manitoba. It was a dream come true. When Kevin was at the end of his resources, he was offered an opportunity to train with Coach LiMao in China for several months, rekindling possibilities. Earlier this year, he coached in a northern community in Manitoba where the local coach explained how sports has given the kids hope and the chance of a better future. These experiences have fueled Kevin’s passion to compete professionally and train the next generation to excel in badminton.

This passion has driven Kevin to train on his own, to compete without a coach or manager, and to relentlessly chase excellence. From Manitoba to Ontario to Washington, Kevin has found gyms for physical training, sparring partners to hit with, and work to earn funds. The generosity of friends—those who have supported him financially, those he has trained with, met at gyms, chatted with at airports, gained advice from, and coached-- has allowed him to get a start on the international circuit. The village has begun to gather.

Given the Olympic timeline, Kevin is taking a break from school to focus solely on badminton and earning the necessary funds to move forward. Kevin made this decision in January, 2018 when his world ranking was 659 based on 1300 ranking points from 3 tournaments. As of March 2019, Kevin's MS ranking is 303 based on having accumulated 4,250 points in 6 tournaments. In 2018 he competed in Jamaica,  Cuba, Brazil, Canada, USA, Mexico and Guatemala. Kevin has made this progress despite a high ankle break and bad sprain in October, 2018.

Men's Singles Ranking as of March 12, 2019: 303

Jamaica International Series, March 7-10, 2019 Result, round of 32. Ranking following week: 303
Vietnam International Challenge, April 9-14
Brazil International Challenge, May 2-5, 2019
Canada Open 2019, July 2-7, 2019
Yonex US Open 2019, July 9-14
Silicon Valley International Series, July 17-21
Mexico International Series, September 19-22
Guatemala International Series, September 25-29
Yonex/K&D US International Challenge, December 17-21

The average cost for each tournament is $1,500. With those costs, it’s obvious Kevin doesn’t stay in fancy hotels or eat gourmet food. In addition to travel, he needs support for training. Reaching this goal would allow Kevin to base this year's ranking on 9 tournaments instead of the 5 he will have next week when he loses last year's Cuba points. This is amazing when you consider that most Olympic hopefuls have at least the minimum 10 tournaments to count for ranking points.

Consider how you might help a young athlete provide hope to the next generation through badminton.

Funds will be directed to Kevin for each tournament on the list. If there are funds beyond what is needed for the tournaments, funds will be used to help Kevin cover living expenses, thereby allowing him to spend more time training. Thanks for enabling Kevin to compete, coach, and mentor!
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HI Everyone!
The Yonex Canada Open as come to an end and I am preparing to head to San Fransisco for the US International on Monday!
Canada Open was a great experience. I ended up getting promoted from qualifying and given a bye. I played Lei Lan Xi of China in the round of 32. I lost 21-14, 21-15. I played well but the pace and speed of the game exposed some areas of my game that need working on. I have spent the past week working with Coach Grace Gao to improve those areas. I also had the opportunity to spar with athletes from Japan after the tournament.
After the Canada Open I have moved up to 293 from 311 in the BWF world rankings!
Thank you guys for your support! I am excited to be moving forward. I have been training hard and making progress everyday.
Onward and Upward!
-Kevin
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HI Everyone!
Quick Update before the Yonex Canada Open starts tomorrow. I am currently 4th in qualifying and will play Tuesday morning. Later today I will have my first practice in the venue! Here is a link to my match last year at Canada Open against Heo Kwang Hee of South Korea. I have come a long ways since then, and I will keep moving ahead! https://youtu.be/9SGkJ1R4ZQI

The past week I had the privilege of helping coach a badminton camp in Spokane WA for Shuttlefreaks. Four days of helping kids improve and working with great people! This year Shuttlefreaks ran the camp apart from the Spokane Parks and Rec as we had done in previous years. This meant less advertising, and less revenue. However, we had 21 kids which was more than enough for the number of courts we had rented. The kids improved a lot. The focus of the camp was on the foundations of badminton, as well as being self disciplined and being respectful to ourselves and our teammates through the way we focused, worked, and treated others.

Thank you to all of you making this badminton journey possible!

Onward and Upward!

Kevin
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Hi Everyone!
The last few weeks have been crazy but also super cool. I coached some Gao Badminton and Manitoba athletes at the recent Yonex 2019 Canadian Junior National Championships, as well as going to celebrate my grandparents 50th in Washington DC, and getting terribly sick.
Junior Nationals was a really neat but incredibly busy and exhausting week. I coached seven kids from Gao Badminton and helped coach multiple kids from Manitoba as well. I learned a lot about scheduling and planning when I have athletes on multiple courts, and I also got a lot of experience coaching on court, especially coaching younger athletes. On top of that I am working on improving my coaching certification by taking online classes. All together it has made for a lot of learning and growing on the coaching side of things.
The qualifying list for Canada Open is out and I am number 4 in qualifying!
The qualifying for the US Open came out and unfortunately I am 5th on the reserve list.
I am ranked 299 in the world right now. I am working on climbing up back towards my top ranking, and surpassing it!
In four weeks is the Silicon Valley USA Yonex International Series where I will also be competing.
I am in Calgary this week to continue training at Gao badminton and prepare for the Canada Open. Getting on court more has been great and being able to train under Olympian Grace Gao has been fantastic. I am improving my movement and shot quality and focusing on a strong foundation. I have also spent a lot of time in the gym working with Jeff at Sweaty Training working on building a strong physical base for my game. Grace and Jeff have been invaluable in helping me move ahead and I am very thankful for their support.
I will be heading to Spokane to coach a badminton camp there as well before Canada Open Starts.
Thank you everyone for your support!
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Hi Everyone! Kevin Here.
I am writing to say thanks for investing in my badminton journey and success. The past 6 weeks have been a time of good forward motion and growing returns. Thanks for investing-- here's what I've been doing!

Brazil! 
I spent three weeks in Calgary training and coaching at Gao Badminton in April. They have graciously sponsored all my training which has been a huge blessing. To prepare for Brazil International Challenge I trained both with the group and many private lessons from Grace Gao, a former Olympian. From Calgary I flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil and got a ride to Campinas where the Brazil International Challenge was held. 
I got there on Tuesday morning, checked into the hotel and went to practice. I stayed with Kari Gunnarsson from Iceland as well as B.R. Sankeerth from Canada. We practiced together Tuesday and Wednesday morning before I played my first match Wednesday evening at 5:30. I lost the first set but won the next two, progressing to the next round. I played the second round half an hour later and ended up losing in a hard-fought, two set game. I battled some calf cramps but other than that played well. That Friday I flew back to Calgary, picked up my car and drove to Manitoba! 

Manitoba Provincial Championships
At the Manitoba Provincial Championships I . I played all three events. Mens singles, Mens doubles with Ryan Giesbrecht, and Mixed doubles with Melanie Cure. I made the Mens singles final, but lost to Thien Vo. I won my doubles final with Ryan Giesbrecht, also against Thien and his partner Chris White. In mixed, we lost in the quarter finals to the eventual finalists.  

The Mens singles final was a great match, and one where I felt I played to my full current potential. 

I am improving my game at a great rate, for which I am very thankful. Coming back from the injury has been hard, but it has also helped me refocus and I believe I will be stronger than before. 

Last week I also finished my fitness testing and body composition with Sweaty Training. I have made good progress since the injury. We are looking at increasing the rate of progress now that my ankle is healing up more. I also got a new off court program with this in mind, which I am very excited about. 

Thank you all for your support! 

Gratefully, 
Kevin Barkman
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$5,415 of $16,560 goal

Raised by 39 people in 13 months
Created June 15, 2018
Fundraising Team
on behalf of Kevin Barkman
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