Canada is all set to host the BWF World Junior Championships in Markham in November, and the city is banking on the popularity of badminton for a successful tournament.
Badminton is among the most popular sports in Markham, with a network of clubs established within the region to promote the sport. Markham is the hometown of Michelle Li, Canada’s most accomplished singles player in recent times.
The BWF World Junior Championships are being held 5 to 18 November at the Markham Pan Am Centre, which has hosted the 2015 Pan Am & Parapan Am Games.
“Let’s cheer on Team Canada as we welcome the world to Markham,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti at a press conference yesterday to introduce the championships. “Our state-of-the-art facility, which was built with badminton in mind, is the perfect venue to watch the world’s best compete. Markham loves badminton, and this competition will not only create a strong sense of community, it will inspire young athletes to pursue excellence in sport.”
With over 600 athletes from 55 countries taking part, Markham will witness the best young prospects of the world.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer conveyed his best wishes to the city.
“It is another opportunity to promote badminton in one of our developing confederations and I am sure Markham will be a great host,” said Høyer in a statement. “It will be exciting to watch the young talents battling on court and I urge residents of Markham and the Greater Toronto Area to support this event.”
Reigning Commonwealth Games champion Michelle Li, who is back in Markham after competing in the HSBC BWF World Tour events in Malaysia and Indonesia, credited her success to growing up in Markham: “Living and training in Markham has been the best an athlete can ask for,” she said. “As I watch younger players, I can see just how excited they are to compete in the World Junior Championships in Markham next November!”
Anil Kaul, President of Badminton Canada, was excited at the opportunity for Markham to host the premier junior event.
“On behalf of Badminton Canada and all our players, athletes, coaches, and fans, I want to express our excitement at this tremendous opportunity to host the world during the 2018 World Junior Badminton Championships in Markham,” said Kaul. “I also want to thank Badminton Ontario, the Organising Committee, and all the volunteers and sponsors for their passionate work towards these championships.”