BWF Juniors and Seniors 'going worldwide'
The BWF World Junior Championships will be held in three different continental confederations over the next three years with the awarding of the 2016 and 2017 tournaments to Bilbao, Spain, and Yogyakarta, Indonesia, yesterday.
As this year’s tournament is set for Lima, Peru, in November the decision by BWF Council underlines its commitment to the global spread of its Major Events, with the sport’s upcoming stars touching down in Pan America, Europe and Asia in successive years.
Meanwhile, the southern Indian port city of Cochin will host the BWF World Senior Championships in 2017, another nod to the continued globalisation of badminton with this year’s World Seniors being held in Helsingborg, Sweden, in late September.
“We want to continue spreading badminton globally and today has given us another opportunity to do so by choosing three different locations for two of our increasingly popular events,” said BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer in Dongguan, China.
“The last World Seniors attracted 900 competitors, ranging in age from mid-30s to over 70, and it’s growing all the time. At the other end of the spectrum, we have our budding stars of tomorrow who are already proving how dynamic and competitive they are on court. Many of today’s top players were first seen on the junior stage and we want the world to see our youth as they start to flourish.”
Both Bilbao and Yogyakarta were vying to stage the 2016 edition of World Juniors which features a team event followed by an individual competition. However, with Bilbao’s impressive bid winning, BWF Council members opted to offer the 2017 World Juniors – the bid for which was still open – to Indonesian city. Yogyakarta had also submitted a strong bid, including coaching clinics for juniors by some of the country’s most famed badminton personalities and Olympic medallists.
“Usually when we have these situations there can only be one winner – but today we are pleased to announce we have two winners with whom the Council was equally impressed,” noted Høyer.
“Both hosts will provide a compelling and culturally-interesting experience for the young players of the world and this kind of exposure will be excellent for our future stars; playing travelling to foreign countries and regions and playing in front different crowds and, of course, making new friends in the badminton fraternity.”
Both delegations were pleased with the outcome, noting “badminton belongs to the world and must be shared with the world” and that as “members of the family of badminton…we are happy to share the responsibility of hosting the World Juniors for the next two years”.
Vice-President of the Badminton Association of India, S. Muralidharan, said his national association was “delighted” to be awarded the World Seniors and assured that “all who come in 2017 will have sweet memories from Cochin”.
Høyer expressed confidence in all three hosts given what he termed “exciting and proficient bids” which showed “significant experience in staging world-class events…the BWF Council is confident about entrusting these Major Events to you”.