Tribute to Klaus Hasselmann

Sven Heise, a regular contributor and editor at Badzine Germany, pays here a tribute to his friend Klaus Hasselmann. Photo: Sven Heise My friend Klaus Hasselmann passed away on September […]

Sven Heise, a regular contributor and editor at Badzine Germany, pays here a tribute to his friend Klaus Hasselmann.

Photo: Sven Heise

My friend Klaus Hasselmann passed away on September 21. He was only 67. After the many health setbacks he had suffered in recent years, we had been so looking forward to our next tournament together.

At the Bitburger Open in October we wanted to publish the tournament newspaper “Netzroller” (Netcord) together with our friends from Saarbruecken. In our last phone call, a few days before his sudden death, we had also agreed already on another Scotland journey to the 2017 World Championships 2017 in Glasgow, where Klaus had been a regular supporter of the Scottish Open for many years. But sadly this will not now happen.

Klaus worked for the German Badminton Association (DBV) from 1993 to 2004, serving on the public relations committee. Since 2004 he was assessor in the committee for amateur sport. As head of the unit for disabled sports, he took care of an area which has become increasingly important lately.

His work in badminton was rewarded in 2005 when Klaus received the badge of honour of the DBV. He did a lot for German badminton, never wanting to stand in the front row but, thanks to his communicative nature, he was often the focus.

We met 20 years ago at the German Championships in Bielefeld when Klaus oversaw the DBV information desk. As a young team manager from Baden-Wuerttemberg, I accompanied our athletes and got to know Klaus and his passion for badminton.

From this grew a friendship that led me to the international tournaments that Klaus already visited regularly – 2004 was my first All England in Birmingham, several European Championships and the Dutch Open in the Netherlands, the Scottish International in Glasgow and, of course, the 2011 World Championships in London. Together we worked in the press room, I began to take photos and we were a good team.

Klaus could discuss badminton passionately and sometimes he could get quite animated. He liked to put his oar in, he communicated well, he introduced badminton friends and helped them get to know one another.

He rarely sat in the stands to watch the games. He preferred to watch the video transmission in the press room. That way he wouldn’t miss all the many friends who came to greet him. He was known to many line judges, umpires and volunteers and we often wrote our stories about them because, for Klaus, not only the players were important, but also all the people working to make each tournament a success.

With his many experiences he could fill a book. On his first visit at the All England he was a rarity as the only German among many British, Danish and Asian journalists. But with his friendly nature, people always had plenty of time for him no matter how busy they were working on the event.

He opened the doors for others, he was always willing to help. Be they journalists or players who needed information, or badminton fans who were in England for the first time, Klaus was always happy to talk to them. He bubbled over with ideas and suggestions for them. He had many wonderful encounters with the celebrities of badminton. At the Yonex press receptions at the All England, he met Yonex founder Minoru Yoneyama, handed him a gift and made jokes with him. Mr. Yoneyama liked it so much that on his later visit to the German Open, he asked his attendants on the ride from the airport if the big man from Germany would be in Muelheim. And when Mr. Yoneyama arrived at the reception in the VIP room, he marched past all the gathered dignitaries and world-class players to welcome his friend Klaus first.

Dear Klaus, we will miss you so much. At the All England, the Dutch Open, the Scottish Open and all the international tournaments that you have visited, your friends will remember you.

Our thoughts are with your wife and your family, and especially with your grandchildren who now miss their grandpa very much.
My great friend Klaus, it was my pleasure to be your companion on your journey through the world of badminton.

Edited by William Kings.


About Sven Heise