Kevin's Badminton Journey

$350 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 6 people in 9 months
Kevin Barkman is a 23-year-old Badminton player on the international circuit, targetting  the 2020 and/or 2024 Olympics. With this goal as his focus he works part-time, trains hard, and does his best to represent his team well. The goal isn’t a simple one, or one that he can achieve by himself, and he knows it. 

Kevin has been in school full-time and coaching as much as possible, but it has become apparent that  he needs to focus more time on training  and tournaments if he is to realize his dream. Thus he has moved to southern Manitoba where he can work on a farm and coach while training. The current Olympic track  calls for the accumulation of qualifying points that can only be attained through participation in a considerable number of international tournaments with some good results. For 2018, the following tournaments are needed to increase his ranking by accumulating points: 

Jamaica International in March—600 points earned

Brazil International in March—920 points earned

Cuba Future Series in March—points pending

US Open in June
Canada Open in June
US International in August
Mexico International in September
Guatemala International in September
US Challenge in December

Costs for these tournaments is about 1,500 per tournament.  All support received will go directly into costs of competition, flights, food, and hotels. 

Kevin is at a distinct disadvantage due to a lack of funding to train and participate in tournaments, but part of his goal is to set an example for future Olympians that dreams can be realized through community. That it is not just about competing but also about being a part of, and giving back to, the community. Kevin currently lives in South East Manitoba with frequent visits to Spokane, Washington, where he invests in younger athletes in addition to training and working. 

Kevin believes that dreams come true when we work together. He seeks to invest in the youth of the community and invites you to join his team as he moves ahead. Investing in youth through sports is a great way to get your name out there in a positive light if you own a business. Please consider sponsoring Kevin, either as an individual or as a business.

Together, let’s tell the world that dreams can happen through community, hard work, and focus!

Follow Kevin in the following places: 

For badminton and travel follow @barkmanbadminton
For general updates follow @barkmanwandering

Follow Kevin @kevinbarkmanbadminton


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Canada Open is coming up and I am training hard in preparation for that and the following tournaments. As well as continuing to work and coach.

Being an athlete is often far more than just training and competing. I do a lot of coaching--Paying it back and forward for all the help that others have given me.

One of the great privileges of being a coach is going into remote places to help jumpstart athletic programs. We got to do this in northern Manitoba.

We took a small plane in and landed on a gravel airstrip many hours late of our scheduled arrival time. We were met by the head of education. We got to talking right away and he said something fascinating. He said, and I paraphrase, "sports gives kids freedom. And beyond that it gives them skills and identity to move ahead in life. In a hopeless world sports gives kids opportunity and skills. Sports has saved this community,"

Sports has the ability to give kids hope through opportunity  to go places, get university scholarships, and  it gives positive attitude and identity. One of the huge positives of sports is giving kids mastery of something and the ability to learn. Those skills reach far beyond sports. Many impoverished kids struggle to find identity, or opportunities where they can succeed. Sports becomes something to focus and thrive at while also creating opportunities to get out of town, meet people, and open up new opportunities.

Playing professional badminton on the international circuit while coaching  kids gives me a unique opportunity to share my own experiences and motivate and inspire kids to pursue their callings, wether in sports or someplace else. Hope is about holding onto the idea that things can change. Sports is all about creating change, in yourself, and in your teammates.  

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Hello Everyone, 

I got 600 world ranking points for playing in the last 16 in Cuba.

Quite honestly it was a disappointing match in many ways. Before the match my warm up was interrupted by a long discussion about how to pay for hotels. The price they quoted me was almost three times as much as originally quoted, and then my match was delayed an other hour, during which I ran errands to banks, and showed the tournament prospectus to many people who demanded I pay right away. In the end I got on court unfocused and with a headache from trying to speak Spanish. It was the TV court, and yet things seemed to function very unprofessionally. I played quite well at the end, and made a comeback, but it was too little too late, and I lost in a 45 minute match. 

The hall was very slow, and attacking didn't work at all, and my lifts were quite short at the start. I fought to play the proper tactical game, but didn't really play properly till the end. 

It was a huge learning experience. Tactically I have never had to deal with birds that were that slow, and mentally I have never felt that I had to fight against the whole situation. 

The first day when I arrived I waited for three hours for the bus to go to my practice time. the shuttle never arrived and I went back to my room. The struggle to get to the court continued all tournament. I spent a lot of money on pay phones trying to get ahold of anyone who would help me.

Cuba was an amazing experience, and a place to learn a lot. I am excited to get back to training and find ways to overcome the next set of hurdles. 

Thank you everyone for all your support. I will know this Thursday exactly how many places I jumped in the world rankings, but it was almost 300 places I believe.
Thank you for your support!
The venue in Cuba
lunch with friends!
Day one of competition I arrived early
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Hello Everyone,
I am writing from Iguacu Brazil! It is beyond beautiful here.
I lost yesterday in the round of 32 against Italy, gaining me 920 world ranking points. It was a close game, 21-18, 22-20. It is always heart breaking to lose something that close, especially if you feel the umpires and luck are against you. However, I am learning lots. I am playing the level I need to play, and only improving. I am pleased with my progress and excited moving forward.
In battles this close it is important to improve the 1% that you can. That 1% is the winning or losing of many games, and even the gap between losing early and making the finals at a lot of these International tournaments. I am giving it my all, and next time I plan to do one better!
Here is to leaving blood, sweat, and tears, not only on the court, but in everything we do in between!

Thanks everyone!
Landing in Iguacu
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Hi Everyone!
I ended up winning my second match at the Jamaica International. However in the third match I played Osleni from Cuba and lost.
I learned a lot from the match and I am very pleased with how my performance improved through each match.
I head into Brazil excited to move ahead!
Thank you all for your support!
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Raised by 6 people in 9 months
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