Badminton fans around the country will be thrilled with the news that New Zealand has been awarded the hosting rights for the 2020 BWF World Junior Championships, announced overnight in Kuala Lumpur by the Badminton World Federation.
Badminton in New Zealand is booming, and the hosting of the World Junior Championships will deliver an outstanding opportunity for kiwi players and officials to take part at the highest level, and for Badminton New Zealand to connect with local and international partners to deliver a world-class event and build a sustainable legacy.
The World Junior Championships is well recognised as a launching pad for the future stars of the sport and hosting this event ties in well with the wave of success New Zealand’s juniors are riding. Oscar Guo, New Zealand’s top junior player, was recently part of the silver-medal winning relay team at the Youth Olympic Games. Around Oceania and the world, our players are putting on strong performances and showing consistent improvement, backed by a solid and growing development programme that continues to identify and nurture new talent.
Badminton New Zealand chief executive, Joe Hitchcock, is delighted with the news.
“We are riding a real wave of momentum and securing the World Juniors is critical to maintaining this. Our players, coaches and officials continue to punch above their weight on the world stage and we can’t wait to welcome hundreds of players and supporters and show them the best of New Zealand.”Badminton New Zealand Chief Executive, Joe Hitchcock
BWF President Poul-Erik Høyer was excited to see New Zealand secure this major event and said the announcement endorses BWF’s long-term vision and efforts to globalise the sport.
“We were lucky to receive some outstanding bids, all with the same forward-thinking vision as us. Following an exhaustive assessment period, we were able to determine the host cities and countries that best represented the interests of the sport.”
Stuart Turner, Head of Major Events for Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) says securing the two tournaments which fall in Auckland’s tourism shoulder season is fantastic news for the region.
“This global tournament will add to Auckland’s reputation as a world-class sports city and give our region international profile – particularly in Asian markets.
“It will attract visitors who will stay for multiple nights and take time to experience all Auckland has to offer, directly benefiting the regional economy and supporting quality jobs in our tourism industry,” says Turner.
Susan Sawbridge, Manager of New Zealand Major Events says that in addition to the immediate visitation benefits, the two events also align well with sporting priorities.
“The numbers of young people playing badminton in New Zealand is increasing, and we know that badminton is especially popular among New Zealanders of Asian ethnicity. There’s opportunity for this event to engage and inspire even more people to participate.”
Badminton New Zealand is proudly supported by ATEED and the New Zealand Major Events Development Fund to deliver these world-class events.