Ulla-Britt Englund was a sportswoman who competed in various fields during the 1940s and 1950s. Her greatest successes lay in handball and badminton.
Ulla-Britt Englund was born in 1928. She was the elder sister of Mona-Lisa Englund, herself a sportswoman active in a variety of fields. Ulla-Britt Englund (later also known as Schelin, Lagerström, and Dunmo) was very successful in various sports, including some in which her younger sister also competed. It is highly probable that Mona-Lisa Englund followed in her elder sister’s footsteps and deliberately chose the same sports in which her sister already competed.
Ulla-Britt Englund’s began her sporting activities whilst attending Kommunala Mellanskolan in Gothenburg. The school principal, Einar Lilie, was a champion of women’s sports. Ulla-Britt Englund began with athletics at an early age and joined Kvinnliga IK Sport association. She enjoyed reasonable success at local school competitions and achieved good positions in the Swedish Championships, primarily in the long jump, where her best result was a jump of 5.17 metres. She did not, however, manage to win any medals apart from at the District Championships, where she won gold in both the long jump and the high jump.
Ulla-Britt Englund was also a competitive figure skater. She was a member of the Gothenburg Konståkningsklubb, in which her father was one of the driving forces. The weather was not always conducive to skating in Gothenburg and placed a natural limitation on activities and develoments. When the club held the first District Championship in Gothenburg in 1947 Ulla-Britt Englund emerged as champion at seniors level. Her awards also include a Götaland Championship medal from the same time, although it remains unclear whether she continued in that particular sport.
Handball then took prime position in Ulla-Britt Englund’s sporting endeavours. Her handball career began during the 1944/1945 season as a member of Kvinnliga IK Sport. For the ensuing two decades she was involved in that association’s impressively successful run, which resulted in 12 Swedish Championship gold medals, on several occasions in both outdoor and indoor handball. She usually played left flanker and regularly contributed to setting up the goal-scoring moves. Ulla-Britt Englund made her national debut in 1948 in a game against Norway where the final score was 3-1 for Sweden. She remained active in this sport for many years, playing a total of 22 international games usually against one of the neighbouring Scandinavian countries. On three occasions - in 1949, 1950, and 1953 - she was part of the national team which became the Scandinavian champions. In 1960 Ulla-Britt Englund received the Svenska Handbollsförbundet (Swedish Handball federation) player’s award in gold because at that point she had played in more than 20 international competitions.
Ulla-Britt Englund also enjoyed considerable success in the sport of badminton. During her early career she was a member of Örgryte Idrottssällskaps (ÖIS) badminton section, which existed for about fifteen years from 1944 onwards. Ulla-Britt Englund’s major successes were already foreshadowed in 1951 when she made it to the semi-final of the Swedish Championship. In 1952 she won not only the singles competition of the District Championship but also the doubles and the mixed doubles competitions. She finally made her breakthrough as a senior competitor in 1953, beating the legend Amy Pettersson of Malmö Allmänna Idrottsförening in the singles and winning the ÖIS open championship both in the singles and doubles. She further won the mixed doubles at the Northern Scottish Championship held in Aberdeen and came second in the singles and doubles competitions. Ulla-Britt Englund again won the Swedish Championship in 1954, beating Astrid Löfgren, the goalie of Kvinnliga IK Sports handball team and thus one of her clubmates, in the final. That year Ulla-Britt Englund also participated in the “All England” competition, which resembled an unofficial World Championship, but was not successful. In 1955 she did not have any major successes either but in 1956 Ulla-Britt Englund once again had a prominent role in the Swedish Championships, reaching the finals of both the singles and doubles competitions. During the period up to 1962 she won a few more silver medals in the Swedish Championships, whilst her showings in the District Championships continued to deliver first place rankings until 1965, not infrequently two or three each year. During this time Ulla-Britt Englund played for Sweden in six international competitions.
Ulla-Britt Englund, now a member of Göteborgs Badmintonklubb, carried on playing badminton until her later years. According to her own accounts she won the veteran competitions in the Swedish Championships eleven times.
Ulla-Britt Englund died in May 2020, aged nearly 92 years old.