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Liverpool and Manchester win their European Championship bids

BADMINTON England are celebrating another major triumph today
after BADMINTON Europe awarded Liverpool the European Mixed Team Championships for 2009 and Manchester the European Individual Championships for 2010.

It is the first time the European Championships have been separated into two elements and the Mixed Team Championships mark the first time Liverpool have staged a major badminton event.

Manchester, of course, have the recent success story of the 2002 Commonwealth Games to draw on and today’s announcement provides the perfect launchpad for the 2008 English National Championships to be staged at the Velodrome in Manchester’s SportCity from February 1-3.

The decision by BADMINTON Europe comes barely a month after the Badminton World Federation awarded London the 2011 World Individual Championships and provides real impetus for the sport in England in the Olympic countdown to London 2012.

The European Mixed Team Championships will be held at Echo Arena Liverpool from February 9-15, 2009 while the European Individual Championships will be held at the Manchester Evening News Arena from April 12-18 or 19-25 in 2010.

The European Championships have been held in England twice before - in Preston in 1978 and 1984.

Tom Bacher, President of BADMINTON Europe, said: “The Council of Badminton Europe had no doubt when they unanimously decided on awarding these two major events to BADMINTON England.

“We believe the venues in Liverpool and Manchester will be ideal arenas for promotion of badminton, and with the enormous expertise in BADMINTON England in organising events, we have full confidence that the events will be taken to new heights in all areas and will set new standards for European badminton.”

Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England, said: “I firmly believe that the hosting of major events can have a dynamic effect on the way in which our sport is presented and now badminton players and fans have something to look forward to in the countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games.

“I am delighted that we have received such fantastic support from our partners, UK Sport, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Liverpool City Council and the City of Manchester.”

Simon Morton, UK Sport’s Events Consultant, said: “Since the London 2012 decision

UK Sport has worked very closely with National Governing Bodies such as BADMINTON England to devise a strategy to support their major event activity in the run up to the Games.

“The bids won this week in Manchester and Liverpool provides badminton with an excellent package of events over the next four years. This highlights the fact that, with the support of the National Lottery-backed World Class Events Programme, the impact of staging the 2012 Games is being felt right across the UK and not just in London.”

Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing for the Northwest Regional Development Agency, said: “The NWDA continues to play a significant role in ensuring that England’s Northwest is at the forefront of staging major international sporting events. Manchester and Liverpool boast world class facilities and are to be congratulated for securing the European Badminton Championships which will bring significant economic and social benefits to the region.

“The decision to hold yet another major sporting event in the Northwest demonstrates the enviable reputation the region has for hosting such events, which is important ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games.”

Tim Banfield, General Manager for Echo Arena Liverpool, said: “We are delighted that the European Mixed Team Championships are coming to the Echo Arena Liverpool. With the lead up to the Olympics in 2012, it is fantastic to be hosting such high-profile events in the North.”

John Moore, Creative Sports Manager, Liverpool Culture Company, added: “This really is great news for Liverpool at the start of the 2008 Capital of Culture Year.”

Cllr Mike Kane, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Arts & Leisure, said: “Manchester is delighted to have been awarded the 2010 European Individual Badminton Championships a result of a successful and unique bid in partnership with our neighbours Liverpool plus UK Sport and the Northwest Regional Development Agency.

“The City is committed to sport and to major events, recognising both the economic and social benefits that they deliver to Manchester residents and communities. The awarding of the 2010 Championships is also reward for Manchester's continued support of badminton and our hosting of the National Championships in February 2008.

“The event will also serve to continue the momentum of Manchester World Sport 08, which will see the City host six world-class sporting events in 2008.”