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Wpisy oznaczone ‘opowieść kobiety o ciekawym życiu’

Oficjalna premiera 14 czerwiec 2017 r.

Oficjalna premiera 14 czerwiec 2017 r.

Piknik Olimpijski z mapką dyscyplin

Piknik Olimpijski z mapką dyscyplin


Niniejszym zapraszam wszystkich chętnych na wielką prapremierę książki, która odbędzie się  podczas Pikniku Olimpijskiego! Warszawa Kępa Potocka w godzinach 12.00 – 16.00

Szukajcie przy kortach badmintonowych!

Zapraszam Kępa Potocka Warszawa!




Since the early hours of February the 3rd 1945, the area around the German town of Bleckenstedt, which housed a major Third Reich munitions factory, has seen the front shift from Western to Eastern Europe. The bombs have been dropping for more than twenty hours and all the neighbours were hiding in a concrete shelter – all except for my parents and a German midwife. Feeling certain that something noteworthy was happening, I stepped into this world a few minutes before noon – smoothly and without any complications; my life was starting to look interesting.

After the war, our family had already acquired papers allowing them to move to Canada. However, my father, a UNNRA driver, unexpectedly met his sister Victoria and her husband in one of the camps. She has told him about Warsaw, the uprising, the destruction and that their parents were still alive. This unexpected meeting, that took place in tragic circumstances, changed our plans and helped us make the decision to return to our homeland, Warsaw. This did not happen until 1946.

We moved in with my father’s parents to a 35-foot apartment on Ogrodowa Street. There were no creature comforts – the entire storey shared one bathroom. We were looking for a house, in which we could rebuild at least one, tiny room. Something to finally call our own. Eventually we found such a place in a six-storey apartment building in Wola District. The only thing missing was one wall and a ceiling. Thankfully, the task was made easy with the help of brother Kazimierz, a builder, and grandfather Benedykt, a bricklayer. There in 1948, my brother Zbyszek was born.

Moving house is always difficult for families, especially children who need to adapt, switch schools and make new friends. For me, a new school also meant finding a new music club because I had been playing the mandolin for a few years in the “DKD Koło” children’s band. My two elementary schools had been chosen by my parents; as for my high school, I chose it personally.

After graduation, I applied for the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw, where I studied for a year. I failed the History of State and Law test, having passed the other exams with B’s. Distressed, I found a job and enrolled in extramural studies at the Academy of Physical Education. It turned out to be a success and I graduated in 1972 majoring in Judo as a Trainer 2nd class.

In 1991, I was heading up the Polish Badminton Association and was the first woman-president in Polish sports. However, before that could happen, I had to jump through a lot of hoops: personal assistant, secretary, junior specialist, senior specialist, all the way to general secretary. I had to learn French – indispensable in fencing – and English, which was the “language of choice” in badminton. In order to learn the latter, I enrolled in Eckersley School of English in Oxford.

The newly-acquired knowledge hasn’t always been my saviour in everyday life. During financially difficult years in sport, when my salary was a mere 700 PLN a month, I was forced to turn to moonlighting and found a part time job at the Służew racing track, where I tended the 1st floor buffet. I was constantly honing my foreign language skills. Working at the Polish Olympic Foundation as a Vice-President of Marketing, I acquired a British Council scholarship and at 49, I completed a course in Marketing Sports in England. I had to react quickly in emergency situations: i.e. in 1997, when I lost my job overnight, three months later, I was already a manager at Sunset Suits in Warsaw. For two years I had to divide my time between selling suits and heading up a badminton association.

In 2004 I was elected Vice-President of the European Badminton Union. I was the first woman to hold that office in what is considered an English sport, predominantly governed by men. My long-lasting goal had been reached!

I have worked for the sport of Polish badminton from 1977 to 2005 and have led the sport through a rough political and economical transformation. Together with the management team, I have strived to make Polish badminton count and not let the association fail financially. All this, in order to allow our members to succeed and win medals, which would in turn translate into a rise in government funding and sponsorship.

Since 1986 I have held several offices in the European Badminton Union and I have met some wonderful people, who have helped me thoroughly understand the sport. It allowed me to find new and better solutions and integrate some of them into the EBU. Until the end of my career in badminton, I have learned from the greats: Torsten Berg, Gisele Hoffmann, Irene Delvai, Joao Matos, and – above all – my greatest mentor, Tom Bacher.

I cannot claim that all of this was possible without sacrifices. However, sport has given me everything. I have met many wonderful people: sportsmen, activists, businessmen, as well as our political elites. I have visited a lot of countries: Japan, USA, Australia, China and Indonesia and many of them, multiple times. I have taken part in five Olympic Games: Barcelona 1992, Lillehammer 1994, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.

Thanks to the path I have chosen, I have finally found what is most important in life – family ties. In 1967 I married my judo trainer, Jan Ślawski, the father of our only daughter Agnieszka and in 1992 I met the man of my life, Andrzej Szalewicz, who has been my loving husband ever since.

Every young person looks for their purpose in life and I have found mine without any clues, favours, help from family or relatives. From a ponytailed girl I have evolved into an experienced sports activist. It has been made possible thanks to my strong will, fortitude, hardiness, as well as a talent for organisation and the faith in my own strengths.

I left the world of sports with the title of Honorary President of the Polish Badminton Association, having earned many awards and medals, such as the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta and Distinguished Service Award in badminton.

I have been retired for ten years, however, I am not resting on my laurels. I am a housekeeper and a gardener, I love cooking and organizing family meetings. I am also the editor of the Okiem Jadwigi (“Through Jadwiga’s Eyes”) blog, which has had over 1,200,000 visits. For some time I have been an advocate of the EMPORIA Telecom telecommunications company, which focused on promoting telephones for elderly citizens. In addition to that, I lectured at the University of the Third Age and have taken part in numerous social campaigns, such as the Gerontology Congress. I am still curious about the world and love to read books, especially biographies and sports-related titles.

This memoir is aimed at cultivating the memory of people whom I have met in my life. I am grateful to those who helped me win, as well as those who contributed to me losing – they are the ones who made me stronger.

            Warsaw, 2016



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