Badminton Community Rallying Together Ahead of Special Olympics World Games Berlin
Special Olympics programs and badminton Member Associations are working hard in close collaboration preparing athletes to shine on the world stage at the Special Olympics World Games badminton competition in Berlin this June.
Special Olympics and Badminton World Federation launched the World Games Training Pledge in 2021, with Special Olympics UAE leading the charge when they signed an agreement with the UAE Badminton Federation pledging to work together to prepare athletes ahead of the Games. The World Games Training Pledge encourages Special Olympics programs and badminton Member Associations to take the pledge to best prepare and train athletes competing at the World Games, as they celebrate, share, and showcase the achievements of athletes while recognizing one another as valued partners in the development of badminton for people with intellectual disabilities.
Since the signing of the agreement, many Special Olympics programs and badminton Member Associations have taken the pledge to work together to train and prepare more athletes to compete at all levels. The work they are doing brings attention to these athletes to promote the Games as the athletes celebrate representing their countries in badminton alongside other nations.
The focus of the relationship built between Special Olympics (SO) Paraguay and the Paraguayan Badminton Federation has allowed SO Paraguay to use the Federation’s elite badminton facilities along with a paid coach from the federation whose focus is the team’s preparation leading up to Berlin 2023. The federation has also helped with acquiring prestigious uniforms for the SO Paraguayan badminton team as well as helping to provide instructors who will help with the continuation of training more SO badminton coaches.
Special Olympics Norway and the Norwegian Badminton Federation are also working hard preparing for the Games. They had a pre-camp for their delegation which included training and showing off their new clothing for the Games.
Hans Jakob (left) and Stian (right) showing off their new badminton uniforms.
Hans Jakob & Stian warming up at training camp amongst other participants.
Other Men’s Unified Doubles attended Norway’s training camp in support of preparation and to enjoy badminton competition.
“Both Hans Jakob and Stian are looking forward to the SOWSG23. Not only to be a part of the tournament, but also the whole event in total. They are excited to start with practice and the tournament and want to play at their best during the week of competition.”
Andre Høidebraaten, Norway’s Badminton Coach
Special Olympics Ukraine and Ukrainian Badminton Federation (UBF) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in April 2021 prior to the launch of the World Games Training Pledge program. As part of this agreement, they planned training opportunities for SO World Games athletes from Ukraine participating in badminton for March and April of 2023. The UBF also provided badminton equipment to SO Ukraine and shares the excitement of the preparation and participation of SO Ukraine teams with their media network.
All Special Olympics programs and badminton Member Associations who have taken the pledge will receive a brand-new set of equipment, the Shuttle Time school kit, courtesy of the BWF.
The Special Olympics World Games 2023 Berlin will kick-off on Sunday 17 June at the Opening Ceremony. 70 countries and over 200 athletes and Unified partners are participating in badminton, from all 7 Special Olympics regions. Badminton competition is set to take place beginning on Monday 18 June and conclude with its finals on Saturday 24 June.
Special Olympics Belgium and Royal Belgian Badminton Federation were the latest to sign the pledge.
Special Olympics Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Badminton PNG took the pledge to support two players from PNG competing at the SOWG Berlin 2023 and to continue to grow badminton for players with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Thailand and the Badminton Association of Thailand signed the World Games Training Pledge as part of the Badminton World Federation’s AGM in May 2022.