Thomas Lund, BWF General Secretary, Exclusive: Confident of 2020 Paralympic Inclusion
By Community | September 18, 2012
Badminton is optimistic that the sport will be one of the 22 included in the 2020 Paralympic programme.
The sport’s governing body, the Badminton World Federation had unsuccessfully tried to gain inclusion for Rio 2016, with the International Paralympic Committee(IPC) choosing to include canoe and triathlon instead.
If the BWF are to have any success, they would need to present their sport against stiff competition, such as powerchair football, golf and taekwando.
A statement released by the BWF reads: “It’s clear that Badminton must be a part of future Paralympic celebrations of sport.
“Para-Badminton would be a positive addition to the sports programme for the 2020 edition of the Paralympic Games.
“In its 2009/2010 bid for inclusion in Rio 2016, the BWF learned that it needed to do more for Para-Badminton and to position the sport well for inclusion.”
Upon hearing the recommendations made by the IPC, the BWF have taken the sport under their wing and integrated it into their management structure, as well as providing additional funding for disability sports, altering the games’ rules and implementing new regulations concerning classification.
Speaking to the exclusively to iSportconnect, Thomas Lund, BWF General Secretary and Chief Operation Officer, said: “Para-Badminton is very much a part of the ‘BWF Family’ and we are confident that we are on the right path towards inclusion in the 2020 Paralympic Games.
“We can point to a number of key achievements since 2010 that demonstrate our commitment – for example, formally integrating para-badminton into our governance and management structure; including para-badminton as a core activity area in our Strategic Plan 2012–2016; implementing a new classification system and becoming an IPC-Recognised International Organisation.
“Most importantly, we are developing the systems to support the main actors in our sport – the players. We saw inspiring performances and stories in London at the Paralympic Games and these stories and amazing performances are in our sport too.
“We want people all over the world to be inspired by our Para-Badminton athletes and we hope to see this in 2020.”