Yesterday’s global launch of AirBadminton in Guangzhou, China, was a significant milestone for the sport.
The BWF has been developing outdoor shuttlecock in partnership with the Institute for Sports Research (ISR) of Nanyang University, Singapore, for the past five years.
The project was initiated with the objective of developing a shuttlecock with increased resistance to wind to all people to experience a more positive introduction to badminton in an outdoor environment.
The aim is to increase participation and awareness of badminton by providing greater access to the sport.
BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said the concept was in line with the Federation’s strategic objective of giving every child a chance to play for life.
“It is really all about accessibility and inclusivity and getting more people to play badminton,” he said.
“Because we now have an ability to play in more different environments, in parks on grass, on beaches in sand and streets anywhere you want, we can now start playing badminton in a slightly different way, with more enjoyment, more fun and a better level of experience, which this is all about.”
Through its Shuttle Time programme, the BWF realised that limited and expensive indoor facilities were a barrier to participation in many countries.
They therefore realised that having the ability to play in an outdoor environment, with the same rackets, and with a shuttlecock that was durable and had good flight performance, was essential.
Lund said: “The outcome is a new inclusive outdoor game with new rules, new courts and a new shuttlecock.
“We hope that AirBadminton will provide a lasting option for everyone to be involved in sports.”
The project is a collaboration between the BWF and its Global Development Partner, HSBC.
Global Head of Brand Partnerships, HSBC, Jonathan Castleman said at the launch: “We believe sport is a force of good. Whether that’s in bringing people together, keeping them fit and healthy – both physically and mentally – or teaching them skills such as teamwork, respect and discipline.
“Our belief is that AirBadminton and the AirShuttle will go a long way to making badminton more accessible to more people in more places.”
The BWF will now present AirBadminton and the AirShuttle to its membership later in the month as part of its ongoing global rollout across all continents.
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