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Barfoot & Thompson BWF World Junior Championships 2020 Rescheduled to January 2021

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) today announced the new dates for the BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships 2020, which were scheduled to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in September this year.

The rescheduled dates for the world event are 11-24 January 2021. Only those athletes eligible for the originally scheduled championships will be allowed to enter.

The new time frame gives the BWF, Badminton New Zealand and tournament organisers the best chance to stage a successful event for the large volume of junior players expected to travel to Auckland.

New Dates

  • BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships (11-16 Jan)
  • BARFOOT & THOMPSON BWF World Junior Championships (18-24 Jan)

BWF Secretary General Thomas Lund said: “With all things considered, we believe the move is the best option in order to avoid any possible complexities linked to travel and other lingering COVID-19-related impacts.

“We look forward to working with Badminton New Zealand to put on a great show in Auckland.”

Badminton New Zealand Chief Executive Joe Hitchcock is still confident that players and supporters will have an unforgettable experience when the event eventually takes place.

“At the moment, the uncertainty of the global situation is challenging but we will work closely with the BWF and our event partners on plans for a rescheduled event. And we fully understand that we are guided by New Zealand Government regulations and international border control measures,” Hitchcock said.

“When the time is right, we will welcome the world’s best young badminton talent to Auckland because we know that teams travelling to New Zealand will have the experience of a lifetime, and the event with leave a lasting positive legacy.”

Jack Wang and Janice Jiang represent New Zealand at the World Junior Championships 2019 in Kazan, Russia

New Zealand Juniors Ready to Meet the International Challenge

New Zealand’s top junior players are looking forward to taking on the world when the Barfoot & Thompson BWF World Junior Championships comes to Auckland later this year. We caught up with Jack Wang and Janice Jiang, two members of the New Zealand Junior Team who competed in Russia last year, to find out how they were feeling about the opportunity to represent the country in front of their friends and family.

Jack Wang, a left-handed 16-year-old from Christchurch, won his first national title in 2015 at the age of 12 and has since claimed many more regional and national titles. In 2019, he was crowned the Oceania Junior Champion in Men’s Doubles and later in the year made his first appearance wearing the silver fern at the BWF World Junior Championships in Kazan, Russia.

“It’s everyone’s dream to represent their country in their given field. As a player, I’m very proud to wear the silver fern and I will do my best to uphold the expectation that comes with representing New Zealand,” he says.

As one of the younger players in the 2019 team, Wang is hopeful that he will be selected to compete again at the Auckland event.

“I’m really working hard this year to earn my place in New Zealand Junior team. I’ve played countless tournaments around New Zealand, so I’ll be on familiar soil and hopefully we’ll have a good crowd cheering us on.”

Another player hoping to make the squad for the 2020 event is 17-year-old Aucklander, Janice Jiang. The winner of five national titles in junior events from 2015 to 2019, Jiang had a successful outing in Russia winning several important matches during the team event.

With badminton being a smaller sport within New Zealand, Jiang appreciates the special opportunity in front of her.

“To wear the silver fern on home soil is a once in a lifetime experience. We get to not only showcase our spirit on court, but also share our unique culture and friendliness off the court. My friends and family are looking forward to cheering us on from courtside, rather than waking up at 4am to watch the live-stream from Russia,” she says.

Both players agree the event is a huge positive for growing the game in New Zealand and inspiring the next generation of players.

“Any younger players who aspire to compete at international events should definitely watch the World Junior Championships in person – sitting behind the courts and being engrossed in the atmosphere is completely different to watching it on a screen,” Wang says.

“Seeing players they know compete in a world-class tournament really helps to demonstrate what can be achieved if they put in the work. I’ll be doing my best to inspire them,” Jiang adds.

The Barfoot & Thompson BWF World Junior Championships takes place in Auckland’s Trusts Arena from 28 September to 11 October 2020.

Photo Credit: BadmintonPhoto

World Junior Team Championships 2019

World Junior Champs Coming to New Zealand

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.

Oscar Guo (Credit BadmintonPhoto)

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.

Nigel Skelt (BNZ Vice President), Poul-Erik Høyer (BWF President), Ian Willans (BNZ President) and Joe Hitchcock (BNZ CEO) celebrate New Zealand’s successful bids.

“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.