Earlier this week, Badminton World Federation (BWF) President Dr. Kang Young Joong bestowed the inaugural BWF President’s Medal on the elderly Thai King for his “lifetime contribution” to the sport, spanning more than 50 years. The award was accepted by the Crown Prince at the Royal Palace in Bangkok on Tuesday to coincide with the BWF Council’s week of meetings.
“The President’s Medal is given to His Majesty the King for his exceptional contribution to badminton, worldwide and in particular in Thailand, and for his support to the exceptional achievements and contributions that Thailand has given to international badminton and to express our sincere appreciation for all His Majesty has done to promote badminton,” said Dr. Kang at a Press conference today in Bangkok.
“His Majesty is truly deserving of this accolade which has been given at the BWF President’s sole discretion - for a lifetime as an ardent protector and an enthusiastic supporter of Badminton.”
King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been continuously involved in badminton for more than 50 years. His Majesty has played the sport since 1953 and he granted royal patronage to the Badminton Association of Thailand in 1954. Over the decades, he has donated trophies for men’s and women’s badminton; provided badminton facilities for national players at the Palace and supported players financially through scholarships.
One of those who benefited from his patronage tremendously is Professor Charoen Wattanasin, the long-serving president of the BAT who is with us here today. The Professor was able to study in England thanks to a personal scholarship from His Majesty and he too has been a great servant of badminton.
“The BWF is pleased to have been able to acknowledge His Majesty with this unique honour,” added Dr. Kang.
“His influence and patronage have undoubtedly impacted the lives of many Thai players who have risen to be among the world’s elite, reaping rewards for themselves, their country and their beloved king.”