BWF, Special Olympics sign landmark MoU

ABU DHABI: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Special Olympics International (SOI) Monday signed an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will help in increasing 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.

This partnership will also confirm BWF as SOI’s official international partner for all its events. BWF will provide all SOI affiliated players with high-quality training opportunities and endorse the safe and fun experience of playing the game.

On its part, the SOI will 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.

BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer stated: “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.

“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.”

“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.”

Special Olympics chairman Dr. Timothy Shriver added: “Special Olympics is excited to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Badminton World Federation.

“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 announcement came at the conclusion of a fantastic week of badminton at the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, with 150 players from 58 countries having participated in it.