RAY SCOTT AWARD PRESENTED TO BETH SOPKA AT ADULT NATIONALS
Ray Scott was a man who dedicated his life to badminton as a friend, mentor, player, tournament director, and former USAB Executive Director. His motto was to "press on" and he did just that to better
the badminton community.
The award was established in his name in 2002--he passed away in 2001 in Papillion, Nebraska. The award honors a Master Player who dedicates much of his/her time to promoting and or helping, in front of or behind, the scenes of USA Badminton, and someone who will "press on" in getting things accomplished for the sport.
This year’s award winner is Beth Sopka. Beth has been the president of Massachusetts Badminton since 2002 and has since stayed on in that position, keeping badminton in Massachusetts growing and vibrant through the years.
She has been in charge of Technical Officials in the Northeast for many years, and her umpire clinics have certified most of the umpires in the Region. She additionally officiates regularly at regional, national and international events.
In 1996, Bet started the New England Junior Open (NEJO) and escorted the Gut and Feathers Club junior team of 17 kids to Atlanta, GA for Junior Nationals.
In 1997 she co-founded the North shore Junior Badminton Assn (NJBA) with Barb and Dick McKinley and Dudley and Ann Welch in order to expand access to badminton training for juniors outside of the private Gut ‘n Feathers Club. She served on that Board of Directors for many years. Recruited and hired Andy Chong as Coach. Took umpire training course at Junior Nationals and is certified as Regional Umpire. She competed in Senior Nationals for the first time in Portland, Oregon.
The following year, she joined the Boston Open organizing committee in its second year of competition, continuing through present.
She initiated badminton into Bay State Games competition for juniors, open, senior and master’s competition and organized Senior Nationals in Westborough, Massachusetts.
She currently serves on the Board of the US Badminton Education Foundation and was instrumental in bringing the 2014 US Adult National Championships to MA (a first since the 1970s).