Today, the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Special Olympics International (SOI) signed a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase the growth, quality and frequency of badminton participation around the world.
The shared aim is to ensure that all Special Olympics badminton players realise the positive mental, physical and social health benefits of sport.
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer and Special Olympics Senior Vice President of Sport and Health, Drew Boshell, undertook the signing.
Høyer said the landmark agreement aligns with the federation’s commitment of providing high-quality sporting experiences and opportunities for all.
“It is with great pleasure that I announce that BWF and Special Olympics International have joined forces as part of a greater effort to grow the sport of badminton,” he said.
“In line with our motto that badminton is a sport for all, we are committed to providing avenues of participation for everyone.
“What we have seen here this week in Abu Dhabi is an amazing platform that allows people of great spirit to show the world what they can do.
“This partnership will hopefully foster the establishment of more platforms to allow children and adults with intellectual disabilities to experience badminton all the time.”
Chairman of Special Olympics, Dr. Timothy Shriver, echoed Høyer’s thoughts saying the shared common values of both organisations lent itself to long-term cooperation.
“Special Olympics is excited to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Badminton World Federation,” he said.
“Our shared vision enables us to create additional opportunities for our athletes to learn about badminton and to experience the joy of the sport.”
The partnership will see:
- SOI recognise BWF as an official international partner
- BWF provide high-quality training opportunities, where appropriate to identified Special Olympics personnel
- SOI endorse BWF Shuttle Time and its Coach Education programmes as an example of best practice in supporting the growth and development of badminton as an inclusive sport for all; and
- BWF facilitate the delivery of a safe, fun and positive experience of badminton
President Høyer concluded: “As a federation, we are so excited to be here in Abu Dhabi as part of this great celebration, and I sincerely thank Dr. Tim Shriver, Drew Boshell and the team for their leadership, dedication and support of the Special Olympics movement.
“These are exciting times and we look forward to this new relationship evolving in the coming years.”
The announcement came at the conclusion of a fantastic week of badminton at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, with 150 badminton players from 58 countries participating.