2015 All News

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31.12.15

Adrian Christy: 2015 was a memorable year in badminton

Adrian Christy, Badminton England's chief executive, delivers his verdict on 2015 and his thoughts on a crucial year ahead, with the Rio Olympics in mind.

"Our target is always to keep growing the sport, with a principle aim of getting more people playing badminton and more success on court.

In 2015, I think we have more than achieved that, a year which has culminated in being one of, if not the best year during my time. It is a year we can look back on with great pride.

Winning the Governing Body of the Year at the BT Sport Industry Awards was real recognition to the incredible talent and energy that our staff, volunteers and players put into the sport.

We also reached the final three in the Governing Body of the Year category at the UK Coaching Awards - so we are really proud of what our coaching team have done to invest in the development and education of the coaches.

The number of players being coached, as well as those competing, continues to rise year-on-year. We know that the sustainable part of our sport is in a good place.

The reach that we had from our SmashUp! tour - 45,000 young people being engaged in sport, particularly in badminton - was a major success and I enjoyed travelling the country to see this first hand.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the year, the conclusion to our first ever NBL season was very satisfying. The innovative thinking into the concept changed peoples' conception of the sport - a real high point for all of us.

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We were also really pleased to bring on a title partner in AJ Bell, a big commitment from them as they saw the value in a broader fan base, the creativity of the new format, as well as great TV coverage through Sky Sports.

A new, successful version of the Senior County Championships format was launched, while we also hosted our first ever BWF Para-Badminton World Championships. Thirteen medals, including five golds and a triple gold medalist in Rachel Choong represented a huge catalyst as the sport looks towards Tokyo 2020. A phenomenal achievement.

The international titles that our players have won, be it on our English and British programme, has been a highlight throughout 2015. The icing on the cake, of course, was Chris and Gabby Adcock's Superseries title in Dubai.

With the end of Olympic qualification for Rio in sight, our players are now in a good position across the five disciplines.

And, lastly, we have started to develop our new strategy for the next two Olympic cycle periods. We have had a huge consulation exercise with a great response as I visited 21 different counties; listening, learning and sharing thoughts.

We hope to publish this in the early part of 2016 - an important and hopefully memorable year for the sport."
 


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