Badminton England and the Badminton World Federation (BWF) are delighted to announce that the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2015 will be hosted in England for the first time later this year.
The Championships will be held in Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, from 8-13 September 2015 and will determine the world champions in the para-badminton classifications.
As part of rehabilitation treatment for injured World War II veterans, Stoke Mandeville Hospital organised a sporting competition known as the Stoke Mandeville Games (thereafter the International Stoke Mandeville Games). The 9th Annual International Stoke Mandeville Games – held in Rome, Italy in 1960 – were recognised as the first Paralympic Games.
Stoke Mandeville is also the National Centre for Disability Sport in the UK and the home of WheelPower, the national disability sports organisation for wheelchair sport.
The awarding of the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2015 comes after it was confirmed last October that para-badminton would be making its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of Badminton England, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting the prestigious BWF Para-Badminton World Championships in England later this year, and in the birthplace of para-sports competitions.
“It’s particularly timely after the landmark decision last October to confirm para-badminton as a Paralympic sport at Tokyo 2020 and we cannot wait to welcome all the best players in the world to England.
“The Championships will also shine a light on the fantastic work being undertaken by Badminton England and our great team of volunteers to create more and more opportunities for people with a disability to try badminton, and for some, to begin to dream of becoming a Paralympian. Hosting a major event such as the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships will serve to provide an incredible inspiration to so many.”
Poul-Erik Høyer, President of BWF, said: “It is appropriate these Championships are being held in Stoke Mandeville which is world-renowned for its contribution and connection to para-sport. The BWF is very pleased to be partnering with Badminton England which has a long history of delivering world-class events.”
“As we look towards Tokyo 2020, we are building the global participation and quality of athletes in the sport and the World Championships every two years is a great opportunity to see the rising talent coming through. The World Championships in Dortmund, Germany in 2013 were inspirational and I am sure these championships will be a great showcase of this emerging talent.”
Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of WheelPower, owners of Stoke Mandeville Stadium said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2015 to Stoke Mandeville and providing a fantastic setting for the top para-badminton players in the world to showcase their talents. Stoke Mandeville has a long history of staging international sporting events and the para-badminton family will receive a warm welcome from our experienced team and everyone in the local Aylesbury Vale and Buckinghamshire communities."
The BWF Para-Badminton World Championships has previously been hosted three times in Europe – Spain in 2001, Wales in 2003 and Germany in 2013.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from 25 August - 6 September, 2020.
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