2012 All News
Badminton leads the way in London 2012 legacy by announcing annual London Grand Prix event
BADMINTON England is proud to announce it will be the first sport to confirm a major event presence at the Copper Box on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park when it opens in July 2013.
To be known as the London Grand Prix, the annual event will be part of the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) Grand Prix Gold event series and will take place over six days from 1st to 6th October 2013. It will bring the world’s best players back to London, following the hugely successful Yonex BWF World Badminton Championships that took place in the capital in 2011 followed by sell out crowds at the summer Olympic Games.
BADMINTON England has a global reputation for delivering some of the greatest events in the badminton world calendar and the London Grand Prix extends this major event portfolio, which is designed not only to attract fans from all over the world but to inspire thousands more people to pick up a racket and play.
With that in mind, the London Grand Prix will see BADMINTON England extend its relationship with GLL, a charitable Social Enterprise and the appointed operator for the Copper Box by the London Legacy Development Corporation, to increase access to thousands of court hours every week across more than 100 facilities in and around the capital.
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England said “In 2009, we had a very clear vision to attract major European and International events to England, not just to showcase the best players in the world but to continue the amazing growth of badminton in this country.
“Between then and the London 2012 Olympic Games, we have hosted the European Individual Championships, the European Team Championships, the World Badminton Championships and secured the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships as a Premier Superseries event.
“Not only have more than ¼ million fans from the UK and around the world watched some of the best sporting action you will ever see, but thousands of people of all ages have picked up a racket, some for the very first time, as a consequence of the event legacy programmes that sat as part of our inspiration. A great example of this was the World Championships 2011 Legacy Programme which was supported by the Mayor’s Office and has resulted in more than 3000 more people playing badminton in London as a direct consequence of the event”.
“The World Championships and the Olympic Games demonstrated beyond any doubt that there was an appetite in the capital for more badminton events and we are delighted that our ambitions are matched by GLL to bring more outstanding major sport to the capital and continue the Olympic pledge to inspire a generation”
“We are proud and privileged to have secured the right to host a prestigious international event in such an iconic venue and we look forward to the continued growth of badminton not just in London but across the country as a consequence”.
Tony Wallace, Head of Major Venues at GLL said: "We’re delighted to further cement our strategic relationship with BADMINTON England, and are very excited at the prospect of the BWF's Grand Prix Gold series taking place at the Copper Box.
"This announcement by BADMINTON England is concrete evidence that the 2012 Olympic Games legacy is well underway; and that key facilities such as the Copper Box will benefit both local communities, and also elite athletes from across the globe."
Dennis Hone, interim Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation which owns the Copper Box, added “Hosting the BWF's Grand Prix Gold series is another great example of a lasting sporting legacy in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
With 10 badminton courts the Copper Box is the natural home for BADMINTON England and a fantastic venue for people of all abilities to play badminton and improve their health and fitness when it opens to the public in July 2013.”
It will be the first time a BWF Grand Prix Gold event has been held in England and the London Grand Prix is set to entice current badminton fans as well as a new wave of sports fans who appreciate world-class sporting entertainment. Tickets for the BWF Grand Prix Gold will go on sale early 2013.
The event will complement the English National Badminton Championships to be held in Manchester from 1-3 February 2013 and the Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships to be held at the NIA in Birmingham from 5-10 March 2013.