The Founders


Paul Knechtel, CIO

Chief Instigating Officer

Paul, a certified Level 1 Coach in Canada and very successful national competitor in his age group in both Canada and the USA (winning multiple championships), moved to the USA and brought his passion for badminton with him.  Making regular forays into schools to give demonstrations and clinics, he encountered Lisa Ward, who had an established badminton program in her middle school, first as part of Physical Education and then as a highly popular after-school club. He has coached club teams at both Duke University and North Carolina State University and was founder of former badminton clubs Badminton RTP and the North Carolina Badminton Club (NCBC) and was a co-founder of Badminton NC (a dedicated, for-profit badminton facility in the Raleigh Durham North Carolina area).  In 2004, Paul created Beyond the Classroom as a non-profit to facilitate educational programs by bringing guest speakers into classrooms.  This program led Paul to use his passion for badminton to morph his efforts into Badminton Goes in 2017 and grow the sport through schools and teachers of kids… showing badminton as a lifetime sport that ALL can play.  

Lisa J. Ward, CEO

Chief Education Officer

National Board Certified Teacher Lisa Ward retired, joined BGV and has been traveling throughout the USA introducing badminton in schools and helping teachers establish successful programs like the one she built in her North Carolina middle school – a program where badminton was as popular as basketball. Lisa has been a frequent presenter in badminton sessions at State, District and National Shape America (formerly AAHPERD) conventions for Physical Educators and others.  In addition, Lisa also serves as a director on the board of the United States Badminton Education Foundation (USBEF).  She is a competitive player in her age group on the national level.

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