Dear Badminton Friends,
The last weeks have been great weeks for European badminton. Not only did we have a marvelous World Championships on our continent, delivered splendidly by Badminton Denmark, we also crowned a new Spanish World Champion! An extraordinary result by Carolina Marin. Congratulations to Carolina and the whole team behind this superstar.
As if raising the bar for future World Championship organizers wasn’t enough, Denmark also delivered a couple of World Championship medal winners. Congratulations to Viktor Axelsen, Joachim Fischer, Christinna Pedersen, Mathias Boe and Carsten Mogensen for the great result for Denmark and Europe.
Both Denmark and Spain are living proof that World Championship medal winners can come from European countries, despite most of our countries not having the widely spread Badminton tradition, millions of players and having badminton as one of the most popular sports in the country. If we put the right dedication to the cause, believe in ourselves, work hard, smart and efficiently, Europe can produce top badminton result, worthy of the great results our Asian stars are achieving.
Also Scotland and England have proven in the recent Commonwealth Games that European results on world class badminton events are in the lift. Congratulations to Chris Adcock, Gabrielle Adcock, Chris Langridge, Heather Olver, Peter Mills and Lauren Smith from England and the whole team squad as well as to their high performance team.
Contratulations to Kirsty Gilmour, Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair from Scotland as well as to their high performance team for their achievements in the Commonwealth Games. Furthermore I would like to congratulate our Member Association Scotland for hosting such a big and prestigious badminton event in your country.
Adding to all of this the recent successes of Jan Ø. Jørgensen, Cristinna Pedersen and Joachim Fischer winning the Indonesian Open, we were blessed with many reasons to celebrate!
Much like the European players, your Council has had an active Summer period as well. Since we started evaluating and discussing an updated strategy and structure for Badminton Europe back in June, big strides have been made to increase our focus on the athletes, creating stars and bringing greater experiences to our fans. We plan to keep our focus on positioning badminton as a key School Sport and as a healthy Sport for All but we will also work on raising the profile of our Sport overall. Soon, we will be in a position to reveal some of our strategic plans to you all and we will be providing opportunities for contributions and comments.
Over the past few months, we have developed an approach for the integration of Para Badminton within our organization. We are discussing and fine tuning this approach with some key stakeholders and will hopefully soon see the first meeting of our new Parabadminton Commission, which should have the tools to offer the best possible support to our Para athletes and attract even more talent to our events. Another key concern of your Council, the lack of female Council Members and decision makers within our sport, is being addressed as well and we expect you will see some positive change on this front soon.
I am grateful that many European countries took up the challenge of testing a new scoring system. I am convinced that these tests will deliver valuable input to the decision makers within BWF and I would not be surprised if some valuable tweaks to the current proposal would be the result of this important testing process.
I would like to thank our Member Associations and my fellow Council Members for all they do for our Sport. The more we work together towards our common goals, the better off our sport will be!
Yours in Badminton (YiB),
President Badminton Europe