Scott Evans made history at Rio 2016 when he became the first Irishman to win a badminton match at an Olympic Games. Moving to Denmark at a young age to make the most of his sporting talent, Scott started up a women’s fashion brand with his girlfriend to help fund his shot at Olympic success in a flexible and manageable way. Here, Athlete365 looks back to now-retired Scott’s appearance on the Olympic Channel’s Day Jobs series to explore how he achieved it.

  • Scott Evans made history as the first Irishman to win a badminton match at the Olympic Games
  • He started a clothing company with his partner to help fund his sporting ambitions in a flexible and manageable way
  • Watch him tell his story in the video and then explore Athlete365’s free-to-use Career+ resources

Scott grew up helping out at his dad’s sports shop in Dublin, snatching moments on the nearby badminton court whenever he could. He fell in love with the sport and, determined to see how far he could go, moved to Denmark when he was just 16 to train with the best.

His dedication paid off, and Scott went on to represent Ireland at three Olympic Games. The bills, however, were a bit harder to pay off. “I received grants from the Irish Sports Council, and I was lucky that my parents were very supportive as well,” he explains. “But I wouldn’t say that I’ve been able to live a life where I haven’t had to think about money. One thing that’s always been on my mind is that I need to be careful with my money because obviously, the income is limited.

“I tried having a part-time job once in a sports shop, but it really affected my badminton. It wasn’t working out at all and I had to stop because badminton was my first priority and the job was destroying it.”

That didn’t stop Scott needing some extra income, of course. The solution, then, was to find a way or working that allowed him to be flexible.

“My girlfriend Camilla and I were just sitting there one day and we asked each other, ‘What would you like to do in the future?’” he recalls. “We both said that we’d like to have our own company and be our own boss, so we started to think about businesses that we could run together. Fashion seemed like an obvious decision for us because Camilla had been in that industry for a couple of years and I’m really into it as well.”

That led to the founding of Hosbjerg, a ladies’ fashion brand. While Scott always sought to contribute where he could, Camilla often took on his roles to give him the opportunity to still train twice a day.

“Having your own company is obviously very different to working in a regular job,” he reflects. “I can easily do work at home. I can sit on the computer, answer emails, update the website – all these kinds of things.”

That ability to be flexible and to be his own boss was crucial for Scott, and ultimately it helped him achieve his finest sporting moment when he claimed his – and his country’s – maiden Olympic badminton victory in Rio in 2016.

Are you an elite athlete interested in starting a business while continuing to compete at the highest level? Go to Career+ to access free-to-use, online resources on education, employment, life skills and more advice on balancing competition and career. Check out the other episodes of the Olympic Channel series Day Jobs for more inspirational examples of athletes balancing work and sport.