Thursday, May 18, 2017
TEXT BY GAYLE ALLEYNE | BWF
The Badminton World Federation is ready to roll out the red carpet for delegates from 145 of its 188 member associations in Gold Coast on the eve of ushering in a new BWF Council.
On the sidelines of the much-anticipated TOTAL BWF Sudirman Cup 2017, badminton’s global fraternity has gathered in the scenic Australian tourist destination for its annual weekend of deliberations and festivities. As happens every quadrennial, the membership will elect a new Council to guide the world-governing body through the next Olympic cycle until Tokyo 2020.
Proceedings start tomorrow morning with the seventh edition of the BWF Member’s Forum at which BWF members will get a close-up insight to Australian beach culture – especially surf lifesaving. There will also be presentations on the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Capacity Building, Integrity and a review of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Forum will close with a presentation of candidates seeking election to the BWF Council.
That vote takes place on Saturday at the BWF Annual General Meeting at which 32 people from across all five continental confederations are vying for 18 places on the 27-member Badminton World Federation (BWF) Council. Originally, 35 candidates were standing for election but two withdrawals and the sudden passing of late BWF Council Member and President of the Badminton Association of India, Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta, have reduced the number.
The other seats on Council are taken by BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer, the BWF Deputy President Gustavo Salazar Delgado, the BWF Vice-President – Para-Badminton, Paul Kurzo – all of whom have been nominated unopposed – plus five continental vice-presidents, and the Chair of the BWF Athletes’ Commission.
Sandwiched in between these meetings is the Gala Dinner to be held at The Star Gold Coast hotel tomorrow night. It will bring together two sides of the same coin, so to speak, as delegates – representing badminton’s administrators worldwide – come together with the sport’s athletes – representing the 27 countries competing in the Sudirman Cup – for a glamorous evening to launch the World Mixed Team Championships as well as to laud the BWF’s accomplishments of the past year.
As usual, BWF will pause to acknowledge some of those who have worked diligently to advance badminton’s cause, with 2016 honourees Malcolm Banham of England and Australia’s Dr. Judith Cousins slated to receive their Distinguished Service Award and Women in Badminton Award respectively during the evening.
Meanwhile, a new face will be representing players on the BWF Council as outgoing Chair of the BWF Athletes’ Commission, Yuhan Tan of Belgium, steps down next week when three positions on the six-member panel will be up for grabs. The other two members who have finished their four-year terms are Hans-Kristian Solberg-Vittinghus (Denmark) and Greysia Polii (Indonesia). Voting takes place at the Sudirman Cup on Wednesday 24 May with three women and six men vying for the vacant seats.
FEATURED IMAGE: The platform backdrop for tomorrow’s BWF Member’s Forum in Gold Coast, Australia.