Speaking at the BWF Council meeting in Birmingham, England, over the weekend, BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer lauded the recent International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announcement that para-badminton is one of two sports – not previously part of the Paralympic Games – whose international federation (IF) will now be invited to apply to be a part of Tokyo 2020.
“BWF is happy to have received this news from the IPC. It’s an important step for our sport and for those who compete in para-badminton and dream of having the opportunity to perform at the highest level as an athlete,” he said.
“Para-badminton is a wonderful sporting spectacle and BWF believes it would add great value to the Paralympic Games. We will put forward the best case possible to the IPC Governing Board for inclusion. London 2012 marked 20 years since badminton’s admission into the Olympic Games in Barcelona and it is time we make another step of similar significance within the Paralympic Movement.”
Høyer (right) added the fact that BWF was first in submitting its Declaration of Intent for the application process “is a sign of our seriousness and commitment to this campaign”. By month-end, the IPC will have distributed the ‘Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games Sport Programme Application’ package to IFs of all established sports (those previously on the Paralympic Games programme) as well as eligible IFs of new sports. Taekwondo is the only other new sport included in the second phase.
Following an evaluation process, including the submission of completed applications and related documentation, the IPC Governing Board will determine the composition of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games sports programme. Its decision will be announced in October this year.
“This is the most prestigious multi-sport event in para-sports and the criteria for inclusion is quite demanding. Para-badminton has been improving and growing in stature over recent years and that was demonstrated vividly at last year’s BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in which 235 competitors participated from 36 countries across all five continents,” noted the BWF President.
“It was a superb tournament and there are others planned for this year which will give our para-badminton athletes even greater exposure. We must harness this momentum and continue working diligently to achieve our goal - para-badminton in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”