Rajiv Ouseph, one of England’s greatest players in recent times, has been awarded a BEM for services to badminton in Great Britain and the promotion of sport within the British Asian Community.
The honour recognises Ouseph for dedicating his life to playing badminton and representing England and Great Britain on the global stage including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships and European Championships.
Ouseph was part of Team GB at the London and Rio Olympic Games, in the latter he finished fifth - the highest position of any British player at an Olympic Games.
Ouseph represented Team England at three Commonwealth Games, winning individual silver and team bronze in Delhi 2010, team bronze in Glasgow 2014 and individual team bronze in Gold Coast 2018.
An inspirational captain of the England team for eight consecutive years, the 33-year-old has won eight European Team Championship medals.
The Hounslow-born star also medalled in four European Individual Championships, winning gold in 2017, the first time this was achieved by a British player in 27 years.
Ouseph dominated men’s singles in the UK for more than a decade, including winning England’s National Championships on nine occasions. Over that time, he has been a huge role model in the UK for British Asians, paving the way and inspiring the Asian community to take part in badminton.
A regular face at Hounslow Badminton Centre, he was always keen to help where he could with the local junior clubs to give back to the sport.
The numerous commendations are what make Ouseph really stand out. He has been an outstanding example of a professional athlete, who cares deeply about representing his sport and his country. He is passionate about leading people, young and old, into the sport and actively supports them.
Having retired from his playing career earlier this summer, it was always going to be coaching that enticed Ouseph to remain in the game, such is his passion to inspire the next generation. In August 2019, he was appointed to Badminton England’s National Coaching Team in the role of Assistant Pathway Coach.
Ouseph said: “I am honoured and thrilled to be receiving this honour.
“I’ve been so privileged to play the sport I love for so long and to be rewarded with something like this makes my family and I extremely proud.”
Badminton England Chief Executive, Adrian Christy, said: “I am absolutely thrilled for Raj. He has been an exemplary ambassador for badminton for more than a decade, captaining the England team for most of that time and representing his country and Great Britain brilliantly throughout his career.
“This will be a moment of immense pride for Raj and his family but it’s also a moment that every badminton player and fan across the country should be proud of as well.
“On behalf of everyone connected to Badminton England, I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Raj”.
We are also delighted to announce that Badminton England's former President, Geoff Rofe, has also been awarded a BEM for services to badminton.
This is incredible recognition for a wonderful man who has invested more than 60 years into our sport.